In the United States, doctors put a genetically modified pig’s heart inside a human for the first time.
The experimental surgery was performed in a Maryland hospital to save the life of 57-year-old David Bennett, who was suffering from a life-threatening heart condition. The operation took place on January 7. Doctors told the New York Times that it was too early to say if it worked, but the man is doing well.
One of the participating physicians, Bartley Griffith, said, “The heart is working and looking normal. We’re excited, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, because no one has done this before.”
The man will die if the transplant is not performed. “I want to live,” the newspaper quoted the man as saying the day before the operation. “I know it’s a step into the unknown, but it was my last option.”
“Unlimited Membership Supply’
Experts hope that medicine will first open the doors to organ transplants in the future. “If this works, it will mean an unlimited supply of organs for patients,” the director of the hospital’s transplant program told The Associated Press.
The director of the American Transplant Organization softens expectations: “These events can be greatly exaggerated, but it is important to maintain perspective. It takes a long time to be able to perform these types of operations on a large scale.”
Last year, a pig’s kidney was implanted into a human for the first time. The person who received the organ was a brain-dead patient with kidney failure. The transplanted kidney, like the heart, was genetically modified. As a result, the genes of the organ have been changed so that the organ is not immediately rejected by the body.
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