The First Successful Pig Kidney Transplant into a Human: A New Chapter Begins

Massachusetts General Hospital announces the first successful pig kidney transplant into a human.

First Successful Pig Kidney Transplant into a Human
Mr Rick Slayman after the transplant

At Massachusetts General Hospital, 62-year-old Rick Slayman became the first living person to get a genetically altered kidney transplant from a pig.

Slayman was released from the hospital on April 3 following a successful operation to treat his end-stage renal illness, which was discovered last year.

The path-breaking surgery is the first successful pig kidney transplant into a human and Slayman has been “recovering well and will continue to recuperate at home with his family,” as announced by the hospital.

According to information released by PEOPLE, Slayman considers this to be among his “happiest moments” to date. In addition to renal illness, he had diabetes and high blood pressure.

In 2018, he even had surgery and was given a kidney transplant; however, the kidney failed five years later, and he was back on the waiting list. He would need to wait another four to five years for another human kidney.

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Slayman was tired of the dialysis which led to a complete change in his lifestyle and was looking for innovative procedures to beat the disease. That’s when he heard of the xenotransplant procedure, wherein organ transplant is done from one species to another.

Slayman was notified by the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center about the benefits and drawbacks of a pig kidney operation.

Given his health, Slayman could not have waited an additional four to five years for a kidney from a person.

When no other choices remain for a patient with a life-threatening ailment, experimental therapy options may be pursued in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s compliance.

First Successful Pig Kidney Transplant into a Human
Picture released by Massachusetts General Hospital

The first successful pig kidney transplant in a human has the potential to help thousands of individuals who require kidney transplants.

Over 90,000 patients are waiting for kidney transplants in the US, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

According to a statement from the hospital, Slayman had a four-hour pig kidney transplant procedure on March 21 that involved the implantation of a “genetically edited pig kidney with 69 genomic edits.”

Mass General President and CEO Brigham Anne Klibanski, MD, released a statement stating that hospital staff and researchers are always working to advance knowledge and find solutions to health problems that patients encounter in general.

Slayman is now “excited” and looking forward to spending the rest of his life with family and loved ones, free from the burden of dialysis.

He expressed gratitude to the team of doctors and surgeons who took care of him. He also thanked all those who sent him good wishes for his successful recovery.

Unfortunately, as per a recent update by CBS News, Slayman passed away unexpectedly on May 16.

The Massachusetts General Hospital offered their heartfelt condolences to Mr Slayman’s family and loved ones, while also emphasizing that his death was not a result of the transplant.

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