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Surgeons and clinicians from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center have completed the world’s first successful transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart into an adult human patient to save his life. David Bennett, a 57-year-old resident of Maryland, had been deemed ineligible for a conventional heart transplant and other transplant centers around the country. Read more for two videos, including an interview with one of the surgeons.
If Bennett’s body reacts favorably to the heart, this surgery could pave the way and create new pathways forward for those waiting for not just hearts but also kidneys, livers and pancreases. There are most certainly risks, but they should be weighed against the risk of not doing anything, said Dr. Daniel J. Garry, professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota and a transplant cardiologist.
This is the culmination of years of highly complicated research to hone this technique in animals with survival times that have reached beyond nine months. The FDA used our data and data on the experimental pig to authorize the transplant in an end-stage heart disease patient who had no other treatment options. The successful procedure provided valuable information to help the medical community improve this potentially life-saving method in future patients,” said Muhammad Mohiuddin, from the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.