Egyptian doctors perform country's first-of-its-kind lung transplant from a living donor

Ingy Deif, Tuesday 20 Dec 2022

On Saturday , after years of preparation, Egyptian doctors performed the first whole lung transplant in Egypt and the first in the Middle East from a living donor at Ain Shams hospital in Cairo, ushering in a new era in the field of organ transplantation.

Egypt hspital


The operation was performed in three surgery rooms, in parallel, by medical specialists in the fields of chest pathology, thoracic surgery, anesthesia and the cardiovascular field.

The patient, Sahar, a 30-year-old woman who suffered respiratory failure, received two lung lobes donated by her two brothers.

Her condition is reported as stable and she remains under observation in intensive care.

In a televised segment Sunday with the well-known TV presenter Lamis El-Hadidi, the participating doctors described the great efforts made over the past years by Egyptian medical personnel and scientists to reach this moment.

Dr Mohamed Hussein, a professor of lung transplant surgery, said that the participating doctors started preparing for such an operation four years ago through training in Japan  but progress was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ahmed Mostafa, head of the team of surgeons who performed the operation, explained that transplanting organs from a living donor is far difficult than obtaining them from the newly deceased.

Strides in progress

In November, the issue of organ transplants was tackled at a conference held by the Egyptian Liver Transplant Society (ELTS).

At that time, it was announced that 70,000 Egyptian patients are in dire need of organ transplant surgeries through 2030.

Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, President of Ain Shams University in Egypt, told Ahram Online at that time that 97 percent of organ transplants worldwide are from deceased donors, but in Egypt 100 percent are from living donors.

Dr. Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, minister of health and population, told Ahram Online also that the field of organ transplantation in Egypt is expected to witness an unprecedented qualitative leap.

Abdel-Ghaffar confirmed the establishment of a world-class centre for organ transplantation in the heart of the integrated medical city at the Nasser Institute in Cairo, consolidating Egypt’s position as a regional hub for organ transplantation.

He also revealed that the ministry is seeking to develop legislation that would allow the recently deceased to donate their organs.

Dr. Amr Abdel-Aal, president of the ELTS, added that he supports implementing the laws regulating transplantation of organs from newborns to achieve the goal of completing 70,000 organ transplants in Egypt by 2030.

Transplantation in Egypt began for the first time in 1978 with kidney transplants. It was followed 20 years later by the first liver transplant in 2001.

Today, more than 5,400 liver transplants have been completed.

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