Recycled Kidney Successfully Implanted into 2nd Recipient after First Failed Transplant
Recycled Kidney Successfully Implanted into 2nd Recipient after First Failed Transplant

Surgeons have successfully transplanted a kidney that had already been transplanted in one patient but started to fail into a second patient doctors reported on Wednesday

In a report published in the the New England Journal of Medicine doctors documented the groundbreaking procedures of a kidney that had been transplanted twice in two weeks

Although transplanted kidneys have previously been removed from recipients whove died and given to another patient the latest procedure was the first time in the US that a living recipient has passed along a donated kidney after it failed in the first transplant according to doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

quotNormally when a transplant isnt successful we have to take it out and discard it because it is doing more damage than good to the patientquot said Dr Lorenzo Gallon medical director of the kidney transplant program Northwestern Memorial Hospital told USA Today

Ray Fearing 27 was the first transplant recipient of the kidney from his sister Cera but when the transplant failed and signs of his focal segmental glomerulosclerosis FSGS the most common kind of kidney disease that forms scar tissue in the part of the organ that filters out waste and can lead to kidney failure started reoccurring days after he received the organ doctors had no choice but the remove the failing kidney

quotIn over 50 percent of cases transplant does not stop the process of FSGS When postsurgery tests indicated that Ray was at risk of developing lifethreatening conditions due to the reoccurrence of the disease we had to remove the kidney before he deteriorated Gallon who supervised the transplants in June said in a statement

While the transplant failed to work in the first patient Gallon said that the organ was still relatively healthy despite having been exposed to FSGS while implanted in Fearing

After the kidney was removed doctors had conducted numerous tests on the organ and found that while it was once diseased it was still a relatively healthy viable organ that could be transplanted into someone else without FSG Gallon said

quotAfter numerous discussions to carefully consider this firstever procedure we presented Ray with the option to donate his kidney to someone on the national kidney waiting list rather than discarding itquot said Gallon

Fearing agreed to donate the kidney that had been transplanted into him on June 16 and doctors performed the second transplant on June 30

quotTo me giving it to someone else seemed like the right thing to doquot Fearing who undergoes dialysis several times a week and is not currently a candidate for another kidney told USA Today quotThis was a gift to me and I wanted to pass along the gift I didnt realize what a big thing it was at the timequot

Doctors say that after the kidney was transplanted into the second recipient 67yearold Erwin Gomez a surgeon and father of five who had diabetes and high pressure and was at in endstage kidney failure the organ had regained function in just eight days after the transplant procedure and tests revealed that the damage caused by FSGS in Fearings body had been reversed

quotThis is a groundbreaking medical moment because it suggests that it is possible to reverse the damage done to a kidney as a result of FSGS after it is retransplanted into a body with a healthy circulatory systemquot Dr Joseph Leventhal transplant surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital said in a statement

quotNot only did we save a viable organ from being discarded we also made significant strides in better understanding the cause of FSGS which has been relatively unknown so we can better treat the disease in the future This proves that when an organ fails in one body it may thrive in anotherquot Leventhal added

quotIt may not have been my time but I am grateful that I was able to help another patientquot Fearing said in a statement quotMy day will comequot

Date : 27 Apr, 2012
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