| Courtesy of tgwhf.ca
In a North American first, a team at Toronto General Hospital used a device that mimics the body’s biological functions to keep a deceased donor kidney preserved and healthy outside the body, and then successfully transplanted the organ into a patient.
Called Ex Vivo organ perfusion, the procedure was led by transplant surgeon Dr. Markus Selzner, and enabled by generous supporters of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.
The recipient of the organ, 53-year-old Zhao Xiao, was able to walk two days after the procedure and is doing great. “If this can make a difference to other patients, I am glad to be the first one helping them with my experience,” says Xiao.
Kidneys are the most frequently transplanted organ, but a shortage of suitable donor kidneys and the organ’s sensitivity to cold storage techniques causes long waiting lists and declining quality of life for those waiting for a transplant.
That’s where the Ex Vivo organ perfusion technique, first pioneered in 2008 by Drs. Shaf Keshavjee and Marcelo Cypel at the Toronto Lung Transplant Program at University Health Network, comes in. Ex Vivo technology allows donor organs previously unsuitable for transplant to repair themselves, leading to more organs available for transplant — and better outcomes for patients.
To learn more about this
incredible donor-funded innovation, visit tgwhf.ca.