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US surgeons have performed a second historic transplant of a pig heart into a patient with end-stage cardiovascular disease to save his life.
Both historic surgeries were performed by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) faculty at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
A 58-year-old patient with terminal heart disease became the second patient in the world to receive a historic transplant of a genetically modified pig heart on September 20.
According to doctors, he is recovering and communicating with his loved ones.
The first historic surgery, performed in January, 2022, was conducted on David Bennett by University of Maryland Medicine surgeons.
Lawrence Faucette, the new patient, had advanced heart disease. Due to his pre-existing peripheral vascular disease and complications with internal bleeding, UMMC and several other leading transplant hospitals deemed him ineligible for a traditional human heart transplant.
According to doctors, this transplant was the only option available for Faucette who was facing near-certain death from heart failure.
"My only real hope left is to go with the pig heart, the xenotransplant," said Faucette during an interview from his hospital room a few days before his surgery.
"Dr Griffith, Dr Mohiuddin and their entire staff have been incredible, but nobody knows from this point forward. At least now I have hope, and I have a chance," he added.
He is currently breathing on his own, and his heart is functioning well without any assistance from supportive devices.
"We are once again offering a dying patient a shot at a longer life, and we are incredibly grateful to Faucette for his bravery and willingness to help advance our knowledge of this field," Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who surgically transplanted the pig heart into both the first and second patient at UMMC, said in a statement.
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