|Professor Kim Young-tae (left) and his team poses with the patient’s family.|
Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) said Friday that it has successfully transplanted a partial lung from an adult donor into a pediatric patient for the first time in Korea.
The doctors had diagnosed the seven-year-old patient with primary pulmonary arterial hypertension earlier this year. After six months of waiting, the patient managed to find a suitable lung from a brain-dead adult donor. The surgery, led by Professors Kim Young-tae and Seo Dong-in, successfully transplanted parts of the donor’s left and right lung into the patient.
According to the hospital, the patient is currently preparing for discharge and shows no particular problems.
The transplant comes after the government changed the law on organ donation. Until now, children and infants were at a disadvantage as the lung donor system prioritized patients who had similar height and lung size to the donor. However, the government removed the regulation in July 2017.
“With the improvement of the transplant law, pediatric lung transplant patients have hope as it is now possible to transplant adult lungs into children,” Professor Kim said. “Pediatric patients will now also have a greater chance of enjoying a new life due to the new regulations.”
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