Indian Transplant Newsletter. Volume 22 Issue 2, July 2023 - September 2023
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568

Second-Ever Pig Heart Transplant Patient Recovers

Sunil Shroff
Indian Transplant Newsletter. 2023 Jul-Sep; 22(2):p2
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568

In a second historic procedure, surgeons in the United States successfully transplanted a genetically engineered pig heart into a patient suffering from end-stage cardiovascular disease, ultimately saving his life. Both historic surgeries were performed by the faculty at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).


The first historic pig heart transplant surgery was performed on David Bennett in January, 2022. Lawrence Faucette, the second patient, was dying from heart failure. Due to his pre-existing medical conditions and complications with internal bleeding, UMMC and several other leading transplant hospitals deemed him ineligible for a traditional human heart transplant.


According to doctors, this transplant was the only option available for Faucette who was facing near-certain death from heart failure. “My only real hope left is to go with the pig heart, the xenotransplant. The entire team at the UMMC has been incredible, but nobody knows from this point forward. At least now I have hope, and I have a chance," said Faucette during an interview from his hospital room, a few days before his surgery.


This second experimental procedure was performed in September 2023, and no signs of rejection were observed in the pig heart even after a month after transplant. According to doctors, Faucette is recovering, and his heart is functioning well without any assistance from supportive devices.


“We are once again offering a dying patient a shot at a longer life, and we are incredibly grateful to Faucette for his bravery and willingness to help advance our knowledge of this field,” Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who performed the pig heart transplant on both the first and second recipient at UMMC, said in a statement.

To cite : Shroff S. Second-Ever Pig Heart Transplant Patient Recovers. Indian Transplant Newsletter. 2023 Jul-Sep; 22(2):p2.
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