Mass General discharges patient after world's 1st pig kidney transplant

The recipient of the world's first genetically-edited pig kidney was discharged from Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital on April 3, a mere 18 days after undergoing the groundbreaking transplant.

Richard Slayman, 62, underwent the four-hour procedure on March 16 to treat end-stage kidney disease. The pig kidney, provided by Cambridge, Mass.-based eGenesis, contained 69 genomic edits to improve its compatibility with humans.

"This moment — leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I've had in a long time — is one I wished would come for many years," Mr. Slayman said in an April 3 news release shared with Becker's. "I want to thank anyone who has seen my story and sent well-wishes, especially patients waiting for a kidney transplant. Today marks a new beginning not just for me, but for them, as well."

The procedure represents a historical milestone in the field of xenotransplantation and could offer a potential solution to the global organ shortage, according to Massachusetts General. 

Surgeons at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore previously transplanted genetically-modified pig hearts into two patients, though both died within a few weeks of their procedures. 

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