Boston Hospital Performs First Successful Pig Kidney Transplant to Human

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Doctors in Boston say they have successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig kidney into a 62-year-old patient with end-stage kidney disease.

The Thursday announcement marks the first time a pig kidney has been transplanted into a living person, according to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Previous attempts involved temporary transplants into brain-dead donors and there have been two unsuccessful heart transplants from pigs.

Doctors say the patient, Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman of Weymouth, Massachusetts, is recovering well after the procedure, which took place earlier this month, and is expected to return home from the hospital soon.

“Mass General Brigham researchers and clinicians are constantly pushing the boundaries of science to transform medicine and solve significant health issues facing our patients in their daily lives,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO, Mass General Brigham. “Nearly seven decades after the first successful kidney transplant, our clinicians have once again demonstrated our commitment to provide innovative treatments and help ease the burden of disease for our patients and others around the world.”

The milestone represents progress in xenotransplantation, using animal organs to treat humans, with recent efforts focusing on modifying pig organs to be more compatible with humans after decades of failure.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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