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New Jersey Woman Receives Pig Kidney and Heart Pump in Groundbreaking Surgeries

Lisa Pisano of New Jersey, who was in danger of dying from renal and heart failure, received a successful kidney transplant from a pig, thanks to the innovative medical feat performed by NYU Langone Health physicians.

Due of her illness, Pisano was not qualified for a standard transplant, therefore her alternatives were limited. But NYU medical professionals came up with a novel solution: they put a mechanical heart pump in her body to help her failing heart, and then they transplanted a genetically altered pig’s kidney.

The quick sequence of surgeries was a major turning point in the field of xenotransplantation. Pisano’s recuperation has gone well, and preliminary data suggests that there are no symptoms of organ rejection.

I had reached my limit, Pisano said. I basically went with my gut. The worst-case scenario is that, even if it didn’t work for me, it might have benefitted the next person.

The NYU Langone Transplant Institute’s director, Dr. Robert Montgomery, called the pig kidney transplant’s rapid success “transformative.” He did, however, stress the necessity for more research and observation to ascertain the xenotransplantation’s long-term effectiveness.

The story of Pisano demonstrates how creative medical techniques can be used to tackle difficult health issues. As she proceeds with her recuperation, her experience may open doors for further developments in organ transplantation.

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