Unprecedented!  Surgeons transplanted a pig's kidney into a human, and it worked!

Organ transplantation faces a real shortage, and doctors around the world are currently studying alternative methods to deal with this issue. In September, a team at NYU Langone Health managed to transplant a pig kidney into a human patient. The operation was a success.

Pigs have been the focus of more recent research to deal with organ shortages, but a sugar present in their cells is foreign to the human body and causes immediate organ rejection. However, the transplant worked because the kidney used came from a genetically edited animal designed to eliminate this sugar and prevent an attack on the immune system.

Surgeons perform pig kidney transplantation in a human patient (Image: AtlasComposer/Envato)

To perform this procedure, surgeons attached the pig’s kidney to a pair of blood vessels outside the body of a deceased person (brain death) and watched the organ function for two days. The kidney was able to filter waste and produce urine, and was not rejected by the body, so the operation was considered a success. “The kidney had an absolutely normal function. There was no such immediate rejection,” the researchers point out.

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pigs in medicine

The kidney transplantation, in the experiment, worked very well, after all, pigs are animals already known in medicine when it comes to helping to cure or treat injuries in humans. For example, pig heart valves are used successfully to repair heart damage in humans. Pigskin grafts are used on burns, and it has previously been possible to use pig corneas to restore a person’s vision.

Source: The Guardian

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