Tokyo: Doctors have successfully transplanted a part of a mother`s lung into her 3-year-old son in Japan, making it the world`s first such transfer from a living donor.
According to the Okayama University Hospital, the operation made the troubled boy, who had experienced a decline in lung function, the youngest lung recipient in Japan.
"His artificial heart and lung has been removed, and he has begun to breathe with the transplanted lung. I believe the surgery was successful," the lead surgeon, Takahiro Oto, associate professor of respiratory surgery at the state-run university hospital, said.
The removal of the part of mother`s right lung and its insertion into her son is the world`s first middle lobe transfer from a living donor, the hospital claimed.
Lung transplants from living donors usually involve the inferior lobe, which has greater breathing capacity. However, the boy received the middle lobe instead because it is smaller and matched his size, Kyodo News Agency reported.
The mother decided to donate part of her lung because the chances of finding a child lung donor were slim, the hospital said.
The toddler underwent a bone-marrow transplant for leukemia about two years ago but later developed graft-versus-host disease, a complication in which the newly transplanted material attacks the recipient`s body, Oto said.
The middle lobe transplant will pave the way for saving other babies who have not been able to undergo lung transplants, Oto said.