Pig heart transplant

Man with terminal heart disease gets breakthrough after successful pig heart transplant

A US-based man with terminal heart disease gets a breakthrough after a successful pig heart transplant.

A 57-year-old Maryland man is doing well four days after getting a genetically engineered pig heart in first-of-its-kind transplant surgery.

This is according to a report by the University of Maryland Medicine. According to the report, David Bennett had a fatal heart illness, and the pig heart was the only currently viable choice.

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The pig heart transplant

Bennett was declared unfit for a traditional heart transplant or an artificial heart pump after evaluating his medical records.

“It was either die or do this transplant. I wish to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett stated before the surgery.

The pig heart transplant
The pig heart transplant ongoing

The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorisation for the procedure on December 31.

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Three genes that are essential for the rejection of pig organs by human immune systems were removed from the donor pig, and one gene was taken out to prevent excessive pig heart tissue growth. Six human genes crucial for immune acceptance were inserted.

Bennett’s physicians will need to watch him for days to weeks to evaluate whether the transplant works to deliver vital results. He’ll be monitored for immune system problems or other abnormalities.

The pig heart transplant
David Bennett who got a genetically-modified pig heart in the world-first transplant

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“There are simply not enough donor human hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients,” surgeon Dr. Bartley P. Griffith stated in a statement.

Bartley added, “We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first-in-the-world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future.”

Revivicor, a regenerative medicine business based in Blacksburg, Virginia, gave the heart, according to the media statement.

A total of 106,657 people are on the federal transplant waiting list.


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