First combined heart-lung transplant successfully completed by Ukrainian surgeons
The first heart-lung transplant in Ukraine was performed in Lviv. Only 20-25 such operations are performed in the world per year, reported the First Medical Association of Lviv.
38-year-old Nina from Kyiv Oblast received the two organs. She had a heart defect since birth. Later, the lungs also deteriorated because of it. The woman waited for a transplant for 15 years and almost lost hope, the doctors said.
"Every year it becomes more and more difficult for me to live, I can barely climb to the second floor. I just want to try what to live normally is, what a full life is. This is a chance for me, which I grab, to just... breathe" , the woman said before the operation.
The transplant lasted 10 hours. The heart and lungs started working on the operating table. Currently, the patient is in intensive care in a stable condition. Ahead of her is a difficult road to recovery.
"A historic event not only for our hospital, but also for all of Ukraine. We joined forces and performed an operation that is considered one of the most difficult in the world. A person got a chance to live, we rejoice, but very quietly, because the surgical stage is only part of the way," says Oleh Samchuk, general director of the First Medical Association.
An 18-year-old boy who died in a road accident became an organ donor. Doctors fought for his life, but the injuries proved incompatible with life. In addition to the heart and lungs, doctors also transplanted a liver and both kidneys, one of which was received by a child.
"We have been preparing for this operation for more than three years. First we started transplanting hearts, then lungs. And finally, a heart-lung transplant. It was extremely difficult to reach this stage, but we managed it, Ukrainian medicine managed it! Now we are carrying out a procedure here that is only performed in a limited number of locations globally," said Roman Domashych, head of the department of cardiac surgery and heart transplantation at the St. Panteleimon Hospital of the First Medical Association of Lviv, after leaving the operating room.