Doctors at Gangnam Severance Hospital successfully transplanted a pair of lungs to a leukemia patient for the first time in Korea, the medical center said Tuesday.
Dr. Paik Hyo-chae and Dr. Haam Seok-jin of the hospital said the patient, a 21-year-old male, received the operation in September last year and is recovering. The man had received a bone marrow transplant in June 2008 when his lungs showed symptoms of bronchiolitis obliterans, which got worse.
“The surgery seemed extremely risky since the patient already had transplanted another person’s organ when he needed a new lung. He had been taking immunosuppressive agents, which could have raised the risks of complications,” Paik said.
The doctors said the patient still needs intensive care but will be able to return to normal life around autumn.