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With a pig heart transplant into a man, US surgeons make history.

Doctors announced Monday that surgeons in the United States created medical history by transplanting a pig heart into a human, and the patient has lived three days so far.

The transplant, which took place at the University of Maryland Medical Center, was a desperate, highly experimental procedure that recipient David Bennett, 57, agreed to because he was dying and had no other options, according to Bennett’s son.

“It was either die or do this transplant,” says the patient “Bennett remarked the day before the operation in a statement. “I’d like to live. I realize it’s a gamble, but it’s my last resort.”

The groundbreaking transplant could pave the way for the future use of animal organs rather than human ones. Donors are in scarce supply of the latter.

Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, scientific director of the university’s animal-to-human transplant program, stated, “If this works, there will be an infinite supply of these organs for patients who are suffering.”

There is a track record for animal organ transplantation into humans, known as xenotransplantation, and it isn’t good. In 1984, for example, a baboon’s heart was transplanted into a child, but the baby only lasted for 21 days.

However, surgeons claim that a gene-editing technique was used this time to eliminate sugar from the cells. Sugar is to blame for the human body’s fast rejection of the animal organ.

The American Food and Drug Administration, which must approve xenotransplant procedures, granted the green light under the heading of “compassionate use.” In other words, without the transplant, the patient was doomed.

It’s being heralded as a quantum leap ahead after doctors in New York temporarily linked a pig liver to a cadaver and watched it function last September. That operation was led by Dr. Robert Montgomery, who has high hopes after the Maryland success.

“This is a truly spectacular breakthrough,” says the author “In a statement, Montgomery stated. “As a heart transplant recipient with a genetic cardiac condition, I am ecstatic about this news and the hope it provides for my family and other patients who will benefit from this discovery.”

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