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For the first time in the world, a man performs a transplant with a pig heart

For the first time in the world, a man performs a transplant with a pig heart

An American man has become the first person in the world to have a heart transplant genetically modified from a pig.

David Bennett, 57, is well three days after the seven-hour experimental procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.

The transplant was considered the last hope to save Bennett's life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances are of survival.

"Either I died or I had this transplant. I know it's a solution that may prove futile, but it's my last choice," Bennett said the day before surgery.

Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were given special instruction by the U.S. medical regulator to perform the procedure.

Pig heart transplantation is considered inappropriate in humans and therefore for the medical team that performed the transplant is the culmination of years of research and can change lives worldwide.

The possibility of using animal organs for so-called xenotransplantation to meet demand has long been considered and the use of porcine heart valves is now commonplace.

In October 2021, surgeons in New York announced that they had successfully transplanted a pig's kidney into a person. At the time, surgery was the most advanced experiment to date.

Bennett hopes this transplant will enable him to live long. Yesterday after successive monitoring Bennett was reported to be breathing on his own.

But what will happen next is unclear. The pork used in the transplant was genetically modified to eliminate some genes that would have led to organ rejection by Bennett's body.

"We have never done this to a man and I like to think that we, we have given him a better chance than what would have been the continuation of his therapy," Mr Griffith said. "But if he will live a day, week, month, year, I do not know."