The First Pig To Human Kidney Transplant Has Been Done And It Is Fascinating

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Whoa. This is next-level, sci-fi stuff right here, and we are lucky to get to witness it happening in our lifetime!!

Doctors have officially performed the first pig to human kidney transplant, and it appears to have worked.

This is potentially great news for those who have spent years waiting with their name on a transplant list.

The doctors transplanted the pig kidney into a patient who was brain-dead but showed signs of kidney dysfunction.

Before the recipient of the kidney was to be taken off life support, her family agreed to have this ground-breaking experimental surgery done on their loved one.

The procedure done at NYU Langone Health in New York City involved the use of a pig whose genes had been altered so that its tissues no longer contained a molecule known to trigger almost immediate rejection.

CNN Health

Doctors attached the donor kidney to the patient’s blood vessels, but kept the kidney itself right outside of the body. This gave the researchers the access they needed to monitor the pig kidney and the patient.

The time right after the kidney was transplanted was the most crucial period. They had to wait to see if there was an immediate rejection of the pig kidney by the recipient’s immune system.

They painstakingly waited three whole days to see if the new kidney would “take.”

The Result?

It appears to have been a very successful experiment!

Test results of the transplanted kidney’s function “looked pretty normal,” said transplant surgeon Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the study.

CNN Health

Not only did the function LOOK normal, it started producing urine. Not just a little urine, either. It made “the amount of urine that you would expect” from a normal human to human kidney transplant.

How awesome is that?!?

It gets even better. Not only did the kidney look good, and produce urine like it should, the kidney markers — which were all out of whack — returned to a normal level.

The genetically altered pig, which was used for this experiment, was actually a pig that was approved for use as food for people with meat allergies.

It’s just AWESOME that science has progressed enough to allow such a thing to be possible!

This successful pig to human kidney transplant paves the way for researchers to use these genetically altered pigs for even more procedures.

Just think. This procedure may eventually be used on humans for things like heart valves and skin grafts.

It is just amazing to me what human beings can accomplish!

The current experiment involved a single transplant, and the kidney was left in place for only three days, so any future trials are likely to uncover new barriers that will need to be overcome.

Dr. Robert Montgomery

This doesn’t mean that we won’t be doing human to human transplants. Those are still considered the most safe and effective types of kidney transplants.

But, the future may look just a little brighter for those people who have pretty low odds of receiving a human kidney.

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