Swine Organs Will Replace Human Ones in a few YearsHealth | August 28, 2019, Wednesday // 06:54| views
Modified pig hearts can be transplanted in only a few years, says the surgeon who performed the first successful transplant 40 years ago in the UK.
Speaking on the 40th anniversary of his revolutionary surgery, Sir Terence English said that his former assistant from 1979 would try to replace a human kidney with a swine one later this year.
Experts believe that this may lay the foundation for more complex transplants of animal organs into the human body in a process called xenotransplantation.
“If the result of a human kidney pig transplant is satisfactory, it is very likely that we will be able to do the same thing in a few years' time with the heart, " the 87-year-old Englishman told the Sunday Telegraph.
"If it works with the kidneys, it will also work with the heart ... It will change everything about transplants," he explained.
The pig heart has a very similar anatomy to the human heart, so it is used as a model for developing new treatments. Heart diseases are currently considered a global problem that has grown into a pandemic affecting at least 26 million people worldwide.
Scientists hope that the use of pig hearts could contribute to the development of a revolutionary method for humanity to deal with cardiovascular disease.