Swiss surgeons conduct complex multiple organ transplant

December 20, 2012

Surgeons in Zurich have carried out a complex, multi-organ transplant, hospital officials said Thursday, claiming the lessons learned would benefit patients with tumours that attack multiple organs.

Two teams of surgeons at the Zurich University Hospital had carried out a live and simultaneously transplanted large and replaced part of the same patient's heart with regenerated tissue, the hospital said in a statement, describing the operation as a "world first".

The patient, a 22-year-old woman whose name was not given, had been diagnosed in April with a large tumour on her liver, measuring 10 centimetres in diametre.

The , which was brought on by a so-called fox tapeworm infection, had attacked the liver, the vena cava—the large veins discharging blood into the right atrium of the heart —, part of the and part of the heart, the hospital said.

At the end of September, one team of surgeons had regenerated the vena cava from a vessel, and had largely reconstructed the right atrium of the heart with regenerated tissue.

Simultaneously, a second team of surgeons had worked in a neighbouring operating theatre to partially remove the patient's sister's liver, and had transplanted it to the patient, the hospital said.

More than 20 specialists had taken part in the parallel operations, which lasted a total of 11 hours, according to the statement.

The patient is currently doing well and on her way to recovery, the hospital said.

"The operation has shown that the ambitious combination of a live liver transplant with a partial heart resection is possible," professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, who led the operation, said in the statement.

"Patients who have tumours that have already affected several organs could benefit in the future from what we have learned," he said.

Explore further: Complication in Turkey's quadruple limb transplant

Related Stories

Complication in Turkey's quadruple limb transplant

February 26, 2012

Turkish surgeons had to remove one leg from a patient who underwent a quadruple limb transplant after his heart and vascular system failed to sustain the limb, the hospital said on Sunday.

Recommended for you

International study proves old blood is as good as new

October 24, 2016

It's been long thought that when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood, but McMaster University researchers have led a large international study proving that it is not so.

Study finds mixed results for use of mesh for hernia repair

October 18, 2016

Among patients undergoing incisional hernia repair, the use of mesh to reinforce the repair was associated with a lower risk of hernia recurrence over 5 years compared with when mesh was not used, although with long-term ...

Traditional surgery style worthwhile, says piles trial

October 10, 2016

Results of a five year trial on haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the University of Aberdeen, have this week been published in The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.