Successfully performed the world’s first living donor lung tissue transplant
Japanese doctors said on Thursday that they successfully performed the world’s first lung tissue transplant from a living donor to a patient who suffered severe lung damage from COVID-19.
Kyoto University Hospital said in a statement that the recipient, who was only confirmed as a woman in the western Kansai region, is recovering after nearly 11 hours of surgery on Wednesday. She said the donor’s husband and son are very stable.
The university stated that this is the world’s first lung tissue transplant from a living donor to a person who has caused lung damage from COVID-19. Transplantation of brain-dead donors is rare in Japan, and living donors are considered a more realistic option.
“We proved that (from living donors) we can choose lung transplantation,” Dr. Hiroshi Date, a thoracic surgeon in charge of the operation, said at a press conference. He added: “I think this is a promising treatment for patients with severe lung injury caused by COVID-19.
Kyoto University said that dozens of lung transplants from brain-dead donors to COVID-19 patients have been performed in the United States, Europe and China.
The woman fell ill with COVID-19 late last year and suffered from a rapidly deteriorating respiratory disease. The university said that the injury was so serious that it took him three months to get an artificial respirator, and the only option was to transplant it.
He added that he is expected to be discharged from the hospital within two months and return to normal life within three months.