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Japanese Doctors Perform World’s First Living Donor Lung Transplant on COVID-19 Patient

A COVID-19 patient in Japan received the world’s first lung transplant from living donors.

Receiving a lung tissue transplant from her son and her husband, the patient underwent an 11-hour operation at Kyoto University Hospital to receive her transplant last Wednesday.

Before (L) and after (R) the operation. The dark areas show where the lung tissue has been transplanted. Kyoto University Hospital

The woman who underwent the operation contracted COVID-19 late last year. According to Kyoto University Hospital, he spent months on a life support machine that acted as an artificial lung, because his was no longer working. It is expected to recover from last week’s operation in a few months.

As is the case around the world, waiting lists for deceased organ donor lung transplants are very long in Japan.

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Dr. Hiroshi Date, who led the operation, said in a statement that the success of this living donor transplant may provide optimism among others suffering from severe lung damage caused by the virus. “I think there is a lot of hope for this treatment in the sense that it creates a new option,” the thoracic surgeon told Kyodo News.

(LOOK the Nippon TV News 24 Japan story about the operation below.)

Featured Image: Kyoto University Hospital

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