Organ transplant is the moving of an organ from one body to another (or from a donor site on the patient's own body), for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or failing organ with a working one from the donor site. Organ donors can be living or deceased (previously referred to as cadaveric).
Organs that can be transplanted are the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, penis, and intestine. Tissues include bones, tendons, cornea, heart valves, veins, arms, and skin.
Transplantation medicine is one of the most challenging and complex areas of modern medicine. Some of the key areas for medical management are the problems of organ rejection - where the body has an immune response to an organ which causes failure of the transplant and of ensuring that the organ can be kept in a functioning state while it is transplanted from one body to another. This is a very time sensitive process.
In most countries there is a shortage of suitable organs for transplantation. Countries often have formal systems in place to manage the allocation and reduce the risk of rejection. Some countries are associated within international organisations like Eurotransplant in order to increase the supply of appropriate donor organs and the organ recipients.
Transplantation also raises a number of bioethical issues, including the definition of death, when and how consent should be given for an organ to be transplanted and payment for organs for transplantation.
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