This combination of radiographs provided by Kyoto University Hospital shows the chest of a patient before the surgery, left, and after the surgery, right. Photo: Kyoto University Hospital via AP
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COVID-19 patient in Japan receives world's first lung transplant from living donors

28 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Doctors in Japan announced Thursday they have successfully performed the world’s first transplant of lung tissue from living donors to a patient with severe lung damage from COVID-19.

The recipient, identified only as a woman from Japan's western region of Kansai, is recovering after the nearly 11-hour operation on Wednesday, Kyoto University Hospital said in a statement. It said her husband and son, who donated parts of their lungs, are also in stable condition.

The university said it was the world's first transplant of lung tissue from living donors to a person with COVID-19 lung damage. Transplants from brain-dead donors in Japan are still rare, and living donors are considered a more realistic option for patients.

“We demonstrated that we now have an option of lung transplants (from living donors)," Dr. Hiroshi Date, a thoracic surgeon at the hospital who led the operation, said at a news conference. “I think this is a treatment that gives hope for patients" with severe lung damage from COVID-19, he said.

Kyoto University said dozens of transplants of parts of lungs taken from brain-dead donors to patients with COVID-19-related lung damage have been carried out in the United States, Europe and China.

The woman contracted COVID-19 late last year and developed breathing difficulties that rapidly worsened. She was placed on a life support machine that works as an artificial lung for more than three months at another hospital because her lungs were so severely damaged.

Even after she was free of the virus, her lungs were no longer functional or treatable, and the only option for her to live was to receive a lung transplant, the university said.

Her husband and son volunteered to donate parts of their lungs, and the surgery was conducted at Kyoto University Hospital by a 30-member team headed by Dr Date. Her husband donated part of his left lung, and son gave part of his right lung.

She is expected to be able to leave the hospital in about two months and return to her normal life in about three months, the university said.

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28 Comments
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Some good news for a change!

Wishing her a swift recovery.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Very positive and good news. Congratulations to the family. She is lucky to have such a husband and son..

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Excellent, well done to the medical team and congratulations & speedy recovery to the patient and family.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Hopefully this case will be a lesson for those who think that getting Covid 19 is just like getting the flu or a cold. You might have minor symptoms, but you may also have your lungs destroyed and require a transplant. Not all of us are so lucky to have willing and able donors. So wear your mask and be careful of the 3C's.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

I hope she will get well soon and resume her normal, though she’ll probably have to take tons of anti-tissue rejection pills every day for the rest of her life.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Many people suffering from long term covid effects. Lung and heart damage.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Japan can be the best in some research or medical advances, but as the whole, all policies do depend on the slow process regulated by old fashioned politicians, and the population is the victim of the latest

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Transplants from brain-dead donors in Japan are still rare, and living donors are considered a more realistic option for patients.

So, its taboo to obtain life-saving, viable organs from a body that will be cremated soon...but not from a living person.

Think of all the extra lives that could be saved.

Weird does not begin to explain this.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This must be a difficult procedure for sure.

"COVID-19 patient in Japan receives world's first lung transplant from living donors"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is all that matters to the Japanese; being the first to do something..

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

This is good for Japan but it could have been avoided in the first place if there was a real mass vaccination program in the first place, not the 90,000-or-so people vaccinated a day we have right now.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Amazing and hoping for a speedy recovery. This is the first I heard of such a severe case in Japan.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

This is the first I heard of such a severe case in Japan.

Are you serious? Almost 10,000 dead and many, many times that left with chronic lung issues, months after infection, would suggest it is far from the only "severe case".

15 ( +15 / -0 )

A shout out to the husband and son who donated part part of their lungs, now that's love and devotion.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My Medical Health card has the organ donation filled out. My wife also knows my wishes.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Sorry to say that after one day fter transplantation, there is no way to celebrate anything. No one knows if she will survive.

First, in other countries, you boast only if certain of full recovery of patient.

Secondly, what would be the consequences on her husband and son. There must be a reason such surgery has not been performed before. I am no doctor and I hope life will not painful for the 3 of them.

I wish sincere good luck to that family.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Beautiful story, I wish her and her family full recovery and a healthy life, congrats Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Amazing, I hope she makes a full recovery.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Certainly not just like a flu then?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I had a friend in college who was the second person in America to get a double lung transplant. That was in 1991. We have advanced much since then.

rainydayToday  11:22 am JST

Amazing, I hope she makes a full recovery.

Me too. This is good news!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So, the woman wasn’t a Covid-19 patient-fear mongering!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So, the woman wasn’t a Covid-19 patient-fear mongering!

How do you reckon that, then?

The woman contracted COVID-19 late last year and developed breathing difficulties that rapidly worsened. ....

Even after she was free of the virus, her lungs were no longer functional or treatable, and the only option for her to live was to receive a lung transplant, the university said.

Her lungs were destroyed by Covid.

Hopefully she will make a full recovery.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My Medical Health card has the organ donation filled out. My wife also knows my wishes.

Don't organs have a use by date?

I'm sorry, not ageist. I’m not allowed to give blood.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This article gives reasons to believe despite recovering from covid long ago the damage continues that can linger around and destroy you. Hope the best of recovery. Is having high blood pressure too a result from covid infection?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Some good news and hope she makes a speedy recovery.

This should also be a wake up call for all those who believe COVID is just a flu. It is a very serious virus that destroys lungs and lives. People who disregard the seriousness of this virus by hanging out in pubs, not wearing masks and that idiot who spat on a shop clerk today are enemies of society and should be jailed like any other criminal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichi...

My Medical Health card has the organ donation filled out. My wife also knows my wishes.

If you are foreign or over 45, don't waste your ink.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Last fall medical researchers in US and UK noted that many Covid sufferers who had never smoked and were not previously identified as in a high risk category for Covid, showed long-term damage to their lungs similar to that of a heavy smoker.

These individuals were typically in their 30s to 50s, and while now Covid-free, still find themselves struggling with a normal level of physical exertion. You are unlikely to find presentations of this discomforting medical discovery on NewsMax, AmericaOne or Sinclair new services.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Re-assuring to see that some people in Japan are doing somrhing useful in this world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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