Contralateral lung transplantation using the lung of a brain-dead donor conducted by Oto and others
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Successful completion of a contralateral lung transplant using a donor lung from a brain-dead donor: a first in Japan

Okayama University Hospital has successfully completed a contralateral lung transplant in which a left lung from a donor was transplanted in the right lung cavity of a man in his 60’s with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia on July 3rd 2014. The donor was a woman in her 50’s, and the organ was provided by Osaka General Medical Center.

Earlier this year, in March, another contralateral lung transplant between living subjects was conducted at Kyoto University Hospital. However, the surgery conducted at Okayama University Hospital in July was the first transplant using a lung from a brain-dead donor.

The transplant operation was conducted between 9:32 am and 4:32 pm on the same day with approximately 30 surgical staff including Takahiro Oto, a thoracic surgeon at Okayama University Hospital. The recipient man was diagnosed with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, registered with the organ transplant network in October 2012, and was waiting for a donor.

In an interview after the transplant, Oto and the others explained: “The right lung of the patient needed the transplant; however, what a left lung was provided. We could have abandoned the plan due to medical reasons, but the possibility of this being the last chance for a transplant for this patient was high. We expect the patient to be able to leave the hospital in 3 months if he makes a smooth recovery.”

With the success of this transplant, the medical staff anticipate an increase in the number of opportunities for providing organs to other patients suffering from severe lung diseases.