World's first pig kidney transplant patient dies two months after surgery; Here's what you need to know – News Healthcare

The world's first person to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has died two months after surgery. The man, named Richard “Rick” Slayman, was suffering from end-stage kidney disease before undergoing the unique operation in March this year.

On Sunday, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced that there was no indication that his death was a result of the transplant.

Although transplant procedures with organs from genetically modified pigs have failed before, the operation on Sleman was considered a historic milestone. Reportedly, the 62-year-old man was also suffering from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. In 2018, he had a human kidney transplant, but it started failing after five years.

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Following the pig's transplant in March, his doctors confirmed he no longer needed dialysis after the new organ worked properly, according to a BBC report.

“Mr. Slayman will always be seen as a beacon of hope for countless transplant patients around the world and we are deeply grateful for his belief and desire to advance the field of xenotransplantation,” MGH said in a statement.

Xenotransplantation is a process in which living cells, tissues or organs are transplanted from one species to another.

It is notable that although Slayman received the first pig kidney to be transplanted into a human, it is not the first pig organ to be used in a transplant procedure.

Two other patients have received pig heart transplants. However, those procedures were unsuccessful as the recipients died a few weeks later. In one case, there were signs that the patient's immune system had rejected the organ, a common risk in transplants.

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