Ground Report | New Delhi: Pig Heart Transplanted to Man; A 57-year-old man received the heart of a genetically modified pig after a transplant carried out in Baltimore, located in the state of Maryland (United States).
Pig Heart Transplanted to Man
As reported by The New York Times, a man named David Bennett suffered from severe heart disease and underwent a heart transplant that lasted eight hours. According to the statements of one of the surgeons of the operation, Bartley Griffith, and who collects the aforementioned medium, the patient “was well” after the operation and as for the modified vital organ, he assured that it “creates pulse and pressure.”
This is the first heart transplant from a pig to a human. The success of the operation opens the door for operations of this type to be carried out in the future. On the other hand, according to data provided by the United Network for Organ Sharing, in 2020 almost 40,000 people received an organ transplant in the United States, and more than 90,000 people were waiting for an operation.
Previous history with a kidney transplant
Although it is the first pig heart transplant performed, it is not the only pig organ that has had to be removed to be genetically modified and used in a transplant in the United States.
Last October, scientists, and doctors from the University of New York did the same, but with the kidney of a pig, to be transplanted into a human body, and that was a novelty in the field of Medicine. Dr. Robert Montgomery, the author of the surgery, said that the problem lies in the lack of organs to carry out all pending operations.
The operation, which lasted eight hours, was carried out successfully last Friday. According to the institution, a pig heart transplant “was the only option available to the patient,” since several hospitals had ruled out the possibility of a conventional transplant.
“If it works, then there will be an inexhaustible supply of these organs for suffering patients,” said Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, scientific director of the university’s xenotransplantation (animal to human) program. The problem in this type of operation is that the body of the patients quickly rejects the animal organs. One of the best-known cases was recorded in 1984, when the baby known as Fae, a dying girl, survived 21 days with the heart of a baboon.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the operation of Bennett on New Year’s Eve, who had been bedridden for months and was informed of the risks of the intervention when treated with an experimental technique.
“It has been a revolutionary operation and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis. There are not enough human donor hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients, “said Bartley Griffith, the doctor in charge of this surgical procedure.
What are xenotransplants?
These operations are part of ‘ xenotransplantation ‘. This operation, also called xenoimplantation, consists of the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another, such as those carried out from pigs to humans.
This technique serves to equip patients with a ‘temporary’ organ that would serve them until receiving a human organ, instead of remaining on the waiting list for a long time until surgery.