TOKYO (AP) – Doctors in Aponia, Japan, announced on Thursday that they had successfully performed the world’s first living lung transplant from a living donor to a patient with severe lung damage from COVID-19.
A statement from Kyoto University Hospital said the recipient, who was only recognized as a woman from the western Japanese province of Kansai in Japan, was recovering after nearly 11 hours of surgery on Wednesday. Her husband and son, who donated parts of their lungs, are also said to be in stable condition.
The university said it was the first lung transplant in the world from a living donor, COVID-19, to a damaged lung. In Brain aponia, transplants from dead brain donors are still rare, and live donors are considered a more realistic option for patients.
“We have shown that we now have the ability to transplant lungs (from living donors),” said Dr. Hiroshi Det, a breast surgeon at the hospital who led the surgery. “I think this is a treatment that gives hope to patients,” he said of COVID-19 with severe lung damage.
Dozens of lung transplants from dead brain donors have been performed in patients with COVID-19-related lung injuries in the United States, Europe and China, according to Kyoto University.
Last year, a woman became infected with COVID-19 and had difficulty breathing, which quickly worsened. He was put on a life support car that has been working as an artificial lung in another hospital for more than three months because his lungs were badly damaged.
Even after being free of the virus, his lungs were no longer viable, the only way for him to survive was through a lung transplant.
Her husband and son volunteered to donate parts of their lungs, and the operation was performed at Kyoto University Hospital by a 30-member team led by Dr. Det. Her husband donated part of her left lung and her son donated part of her right lung.
He is expected to be able to leave the hospital in about two months and return to normal life in about three months.