why pigs, for pig to human heart transplant?

You might be curious why the medical field considers pig organs for human transplants, particularly after the recent pig heart transplant to a human patient.

The heart surgery was widely reported in the news. Human Organ transplantation is considered a milestone in the history of medical science.

By this scientific discovery, human organs can be transplanted from a healthier one to an ailing one.

This research shows the signs of hope among patients. However, there has been a major issue since the discovery of this transplantation. That is a shortage of human organs supply.

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According to The Division of Transplantation (DoT), the following number of patients are waiting for human organs in each category (by Organ).

Number of Patients on Waiting List for Kidney Transplant.

YearNo of Patients

Number of Patients on Waiting List for Heart Transplant.

YearNo of Patients

Number of Patients on Waiting List for Liver Transplant.

YearNo of Patients

Every 10 minutes, another person adds the numbers to the transplant waiting list.

Each day, 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant.

According to the latest data 104,234 patients are on the national transplant waiting list.

The demand for human organs is far more than the availability of human donors. This situation leads to patients’ prolonged waiting time and, in the end, loss of lives.

Medical experts investigated a novel and unforeseen path toward bridging the chasm between life and death. They found the utilization of pig’s organs.

Xenotransplantation, transplanting animal tissues or organs into humans, is a revolutionary sphere in medical research. This inventive strategy provides a glimmer of hope for addressing the death of organs and revolutionizing the field of transplantation.

The potential of utilizing pig organs for transplantation holds great promise due to their physiological similarities to human organs.

Pig organs possess similar functions and sizes as human organs, which significantly diminishes the likelihood of organ rejection.

The progress in genetic engineering has also led to increased compatibility and reduced immune response triggers.

This approach could alleviate the scarcity of human donor organs and ultimately save countless lives while improving the quality of life for transplant recipients.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to consider the ethical and safety implications and continue research efforts as the science delves into this potential medical advancement.

First pig-to-human heart transplantation

heart surgery scene

A remarkable medical feat was achieved at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, where a 57-year-old man with end-stage heart disease underwent a pig heart transplant using a genetically modified pig heart.

This groundbreaking surgery made history as the very first successful porcine-to-human heart transplant in the world. Despite the experimental nature of the operation, the patient was able to move around without the need for cardiopulmonary bypass assistance, which was an encouraging short-term outcome.

The surgery also effectively tackled hyperacute immune rejection, suggesting that the transplantation of pig organs into humans could be a practical solution to the pressing shortage of human organs for transplantation.

Regrettably, the patient’s condition eventually deteriorated, and he passed away on March 9, 2022, only two months after the transplant surgery.

Nonetheless, this pioneering surgery paves the way for further research in the field of xenotransplantation, bringing hope for future breakthroughs.

Second pig-to-human heart transplantation

Pig to human heart surgery

On September 20, 2023, a remarkable medical event took place. A 58-year-old patient,  Mr. Faucette, suffering from terminal heart disease became the second person in the world to receive a transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart.

This pioneering operation has been hailed as a significant milestone in medical history and is giving hope to millions of patients suffering from heart disease worldwide.

The patient is currently recovering and communicating with his loved ones, bringing joy and relief to all those involved in his care.

This is only the second time in recorded history that a genetically modified pig heart has been transplanted into a human being, and the success of this operation is a testament to the incredible advancements in medical science and technology.

This historic achievement has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for medical professionals and researchers, and it is hoped that this type of pig heart transplant will become more widely available in the future.

This groundbreaking operation is a shining example of the incredible potential of medical science and technology to change lives for the better.

The medical field is continuously evolving and exploring new avenues to provide innovative solutions to patients in need of organ transplants. One such promising approach is xenotransplantation, which has the potential to be a game-changer in the world of medicine.

The xenotransplantation technique involves the transplantation of organs or tissues from pigs to humans, and it offers a ray of hope to those who are suffering from life-threatening medical conditions.

As research in this area continues to progress, we can look forward to more advanced and successful methods of xenotransplantation that could revolutionize the way we approach organ transplantation.

The Source:  University of Maryland School of Medicine

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Mr. Bennett, the first patient, lived two months after the surgery.

Yes, Mr. Faucette is alive and stable.

Pigs. Pig heart has been transplanted twice in history.

The pig heart has a classic ‘Valentine’s heart’ shape.

Medical science is conducting research and practicals to estimate the life span of the transplanted patient.

Yes, the second pig-to-human heart transplant surgery has been completed.

On September 20, 2023. The second-ever pig heart was transplanted to a human patient, Mr. Faucette.

The first person is Mr. BennettMr in 2022. The second patient is Mr. Faucette in 2023.

In simple terms, organ transplantation from one species to another is called Xenotransplantation.

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