pig heart human

Washington, Jan 11: US surgeons have successfully implanted a heart from a genetically modified pig in a 57-year-old human. This is first-time medical history that could one day help solve the chronic shortage of organ donations.

The “historic” procedure took place in the University Of Maryland Medical School. While the patient’s prognosis is far from certain, it represents a major milestone for animal-to-human transplantation.

The patient, David Bennett, had been deemed ineligible for a human transplant. A decision that is often taken when the recipient has very poor underlying health.

David is now recovering and being carefully monitored to determine how the new organ performs.

“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” the Maryland resident said a day before the surgery.

Bennett, who has spent the last several months bedridden on a heart-lung bypass machine, added that “I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover.”

Also Read: Kerala cops arrest seven people involved in ‘partner swapping’ sex racket

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the surgery on New Year’s Eve, as a last-ditch effort for a patient who was unsuitable for a conventional transplant.

“This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis,” said Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart.

“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.”

Muhammad Mohiuddin, who co-founded the university’s cardiac xenotransplantation program, added the surgery was the culmination of years of research, involving pig-to-baboon transplants, with survival times that exceeded nine months.

Also Read: Pfizer tablet becomes 1st US-authorised home COVID treatment


“The successful procedure provided valuable information to help the medical community improve this potentially life-saving method in future patients,” he said.

Bennett’s donor pig belonged to a herd that had undergone genetic editing procedures.

Three genes that would have led to the rejection of pig organs by human were “knocked out,” as was a gene that would have led to excessive growth of pig heart tissue.