Japanese doctors have performed the “world’s first lung transplant”, from living donors to a recovered coronavirus patient whose lungs were severely damaged by Covid-19.
According to Kyoto University Hospital in Japan, the woman underwent an 11-hour operation by a 30-strong medical team on Wednesday, April 7th, to transplant lung tissue from her husband and son.
The Kyoto hospital said this case was the first in which lung tissue had been transplanted from living donors to a Covid-19 patient.
Dr. Hiroshi Date, who led the operation, said it gave hope to patients suffering from severe lung damage from Covid-19.
“We demonstrated that we now have an option of lung transplants (from living donors),” he said at a Thursday news conference. He said.
The patient, a woman from Japan’s western region of Kansai, contracted Covid-19 late in 2020, and spent months on a life support machine that worked as an artificial lung, according to Kyoto University Hospital.
It was gathered that Covid-19 caused so much damage to her lungs they were no longer functional, and required a lung transplant to live.
The patient’s husband and son then offered to donate parts of their lungs.
Transplants from brain-dead donors are rare in Japan, and live donors are considered a better option, according to the hospital’s statement.
The husband and son are in a stable condition and the woman remains in intensive care. She’s expected to be able to leave the hospital in about two months, according to the hospital.