Pig kidney transplant recipient recovering well, US hospital says

Surgeons in the United States say they have successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig kidney into a patient, and the recipient is recovering well.

The Massachusetts General Hospital announced on Thursday that a surgical team had performed the world's first successful pig kidney transplant into a living patient.

The surgeons transplanted a pig kidney into a 62-year-old man with a kidney disease on March 16. The organ was genetically edited to prevent rejection.

The team says the patient is expected to be discharged soon.

Team member Kawai Tatsuo said everyone in the operating room burst into applause after seeing the transplanted kidney begin to function.

The team says the successful transplant "marks a major milestone in the quest to provide more readily available organs to patients."

Efforts are underway in the US to develop ways to transplant genetically modified pig organs into humans.

In 2021, a team of US doctors performed a transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney into a brain-dead patient.

In 2022, a patient who had no other treatment options received a transplant of a genetically modified pig heart. The patient died about two months after the operation.