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54-year-old Woman Receives first Pig Kidney Transplant Combined with Mechanical heart

Kwabena Sowee 3 weeks ago 0

A grandma of 54 years old has undergone the first-ever successful combination transplant of a mechanical heart pump and pig kidney.

Due to her chronic health issues and the lack of human organ donors, Lisa Pisano, a resident of New Jersey, was not considered suitable for a heart and kidney transplant. She also had end-stage kidney disease and heart failure.

She said: All I want is the opportunity to have a better life.

“After I was ruled out for a human transplant, I learned I didn’t have a lot of time left.

“My doctors thought there may be a chance I could be approved to receive a gene-edited pig kidney, so I discussed it with my family and my husband. He has been by my side throughout this ordeal and wants me to be better.”

NYU Langone Health surgeons carried out an innovative two-stage procedure earlier this month in New York. On April 4, they surgically implanted a heart pump called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) on Pisano. 

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Then, on April 12, they successfully transplanted a gene-edited pig kidney into her. It had a pig’s thymus gland to prevent the animal organ from being rejected by the woman’s body.

Pisano has not displayed any indications of organ rejection after over two weeks.

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“It is incredible to consider the scientific achievements that have led to our ability to save Lisa’s life, and what we are endeavoring to do as a society for everyone in need of a lifesaving organ,” stated lead surgeon Robert Montgomery on Wednesday, April 24, when the NYU Langone Health announced the feat.

Montgomery, who performed the world’s first gene-edited pig kidney transplant to a braindead person in 2021, said Pisano’s procedure will “bring closer the possibility that no one will have to die, waiting for someone else to die, so they can be saved”. 

pig kidney transplant

Pisano is the second living patient to receive a pig kidney transplant, after Richard Slayman, 62, who also had end-stage kidney disease and was operated in Boston in March.

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While Slayman is the world’s first pig kidney transplant patient, Pisano is the first to receive a pig kidney transplant plus a heart pump.

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