For the first time, a genetically engineered pig heart has been transplanted into a patient in a desperate last attempt to save his life. The 57-year-old patient had cardiological problems but was not eligible for a human heart transplant and therefore had no other options than to undergo the highly experimental surgery.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that David Bennett is fine three days after surgery. Although it is too early to know if the operation will actually work, the operation marks an important step in decades of research into using animal organs for life-saving transplants.
The operation lasted eight hours and was performed in Baltimore. The new organ “creates the beat, creates the pressure, is his heart,” said Bartley Griffith, director of the medical center’s transplant program, author of the intervention. It works and it seems normal but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, it has never been done before ».
Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say the transplant has shown that a heart from a genetically modified animal can function in the human body without immediate rejection.
The patient knew there was no guarantee that the experiment would work, but he was dying and had no other option, his son told the PA. “The choice is between dying or having this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a leap in the dark, but it’s my last chance, ”Bennett said the day before surgery, according to a statement provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.