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10 First Transplants in History

10 First Transplants in History has been more than 100 years since the first successful transplants in history took place. Since then, medicine advanced with giant steps and now, we have great hopes for the future, that many generations before us could not even dare formulating. Today, we stopped considering a heart transplant an amazing achievement. Today, we think of prolonging life span by means of organs grown in laboratories. Today, we must bring a tribute to those moments when medicine dared to take another step and to those doctors who proved that capable men do not have the word “impossible” in their dictionaries. Here is a list of the 10 first transplants in history.

1. The first successful transplant in history
It was in 1878 when the first successful bone transplant took place. A bone from a cadaver was used for the transplantation and the “wow” factor is its success itself, because, with the rudimental techniques that had been invented up to that moment, this operation had minimum chances of success.

2. The first corneal transplant

Not long after the first bone transplant, another medical achievement would amaze the world: the first corneal transplant. The very gifted Dr. Eduard Zirm was brave enough to try to give back his patient the sight he had lost in an work accident. The cornea came from the eyes of an 11 years old boy who had suffered a severe accident during which metal pieces had penetrated his eyes. While his sight was impossible to save, one of Glogar’s eyes regained its function by means of this transplant.

3. The first kidney transplant

The next operation of this kind took place in 1954. One attempt had been made in the 30’ but with that occasion, the kidney functioned poorly for 2 days and then failed. This time, the kidney transplant was a huge success. The kidney was collected from the patient’s twin brother and represented an event that would change the face of medicine forever.

4. The first successful lung and pancreas transplants

The list of “successful first transplants” registers two new accomplishments in the 60s. Thus, in 1963, the first lung was transplanted by Doctor James Hardy, the second doctor who took the chance of trying something that was never done before, and he succeeded. A year later, the pancreas was added to the list. What is interesting is that the same year, an attempt to transplant the heart of a monkey into a human’s chest took place. However, the heart stopped after 90 minutes and the patient, of course, died.

5. The first successful heart transplant

Not long after the previously mentioned failure, in 1967, the greatest achievement of them all, the first heart transplant took place. The operation –which is still an extremely complex procedure- must have been “an impossible mission” for the team of 30 doctors who tried to save the life of the patient, a man who suffered by both diabetes and heart failure. They did manage to successfully transplant the heart, but the patient died anyway two weeks later due to pneumonia, caused by the immunosuppressive drugs he was taking in order for the body to accept the new organ.

6. The first multiple organ donor

In 1968, a very young woman of only 20 years old was shot in the head, somewhere in Texas. While her brain was dead, all the other organs, including the heart, were still viable, thus being able to save the lives of other more fortunate patients. Doctors did not lose this chance.

7. The first hand transplant

The first hand transplant in history took place in 1998. It was a huge success, but the patient did not benefit much from his new hand because he experienced psychological problems and asked for the hand to be removed. One year later, in 1999, another patient received a new hand, in Kentucky. This time, there were no problems and the transplantation was fully successful.

8. The first ovary transplant that resulted in a pregnancy

Medicine progresses very fast these days and thus, since 2008, there were 3 very important premieres in the field of transplantation. First, in 2008, a woman who had experienced an early menopause at the age of 15 received an ovary from her identical twin. This operation was very complex and was only possible because of the relation between the patient and the donor.

9. The first transplant of an organ entirely grown from a person’s own cells

It was still in 2008 that the first transplant of an organ grown from the patient’s own cells occurred. The Spanish young woman who took advantage of this new procedure needed to have her trachea replaced. Consequently to the operation, the patient could regain full control of her trachea and no rejection of the organ was even considered, as the organ was “her own”.

10. The first face transplant

World’s most recent transplant is the full face transplant that occurred in 2010. A hundred years ago, or even 50 years ago, surgeons could not even imagine that the human being could be able to receive the face of another human being. It was not only the skin, but also muscles, lips, teeth and even the cheekbones were entirely replaced.

Written By Awais Ali


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