The `breathtaking` behind the scenes behind the first human pig heart transplant

The `breathtaking` behind the scenes behind the first human pig heart transplant 0

(Dan Tri) – The doctor who performed the world’s first human pig heart transplant shared the behind-the-scenes story behind this unprecedented surgery.

Doctors performed a pig heart transplant on patient David Bennett in Maryland on January 7 (Photo: Reuters).

Dr. Bartley P. Griffith is a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA.

`I have been a heart surgeon for 40 years. Since I was a child, I have always loved helping people. Around the time I left high school, the first heart transplant was performed in South Africa,

Griffith said that ever since he was a young surgeon, he was interested in `new` things.

`In Pittsburgh, we perform the most heart transplants in the country and use the newest drugs. Famous surgeon Thomas Starzl came to Pittsburgh, where I was working, and made us feel that,

Griffith said he watched Dr. Starzl perform one of two baboon-to-human liver transplants, so he understood the efforts of transplanting animal organs to the human body.

Dr. Mohiuddin tested a pig heart transplant with 3 gene edits on baboons and one animal lived for up to 3 years.

On November 27, 2021, patient David Bennett was transferred to the cardiac surgery special treatment room at Dr. Griffith’s hospital in a condition requiring a heart-lung support machine.

Without a heart transplant, David would likely die in the hospital.

David met with medical experts and psychologists before performing the pig heart transplant.

However, doctors said they could not transplant a human heart to David.

The `breathtaking` behind the scenes behind the first human pig heart transplant

Patient David Bennett (center) with his son David Bennett Jr.

After David agreed to a heart transplant, the next hurdle was that the doctors had to be licensed because this was an important surgery.

Doctors took another 5 days for the hospital to prepare for the surgery.

On January 7, when the surgery was performed, Griffith was still nervous.

`We were silent for a moment before starting the surgery. It was a moment of reflection on what we were doing and its impact not only on the patient but beyond,` Griffith said.

`I comfortably went forward and made an incision on David’s body, then tried to do the best I could. This surgery was similar to most transplants I’ve done, although the pig heart is small and the heart is small.

The surgery lasted from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m.

`David woke up the next morning. When I talked to him and said ‘you have a new heart,’ he looked at me and said, ‘Thank you.’ That made me cry,` Griffith recalled.

David’s health condition improved after surgery.

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