A man in his 40s remains in critical condition in a hospital after he became the first person ever in Hong Kong to receive a heart transplant a second time.
Doctors at Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) performed heart transplant on Wednesday on a male patient who had undergone similar procedure thirteen years ago, marking the first such case in the city.
According to a doctor, the man underwent surgery in 2000 to replace a mitral valve but continued to see his health condition deteriorate. Assessing the situation, cardiac experts performed a heart transplant operation on him in 2005.
His condition turned better afterwards, but in 2016 he was diagnosed with late-stage heart failure, which put him on the heart transplant waiting list again.
He received the second transplant yesterday as another male patient donated his heart as well several other organs before he passed away due to brain death Tuesday night, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
After acquiring the donated heart, a team from QMH’s division began the surgery at about 10.30 am Wednesday and successfully completed it about seven hours later.
According to Dr. Timmy Au Wing-kuk, head of the hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery unit, the recipient remains in a critical condition after the surgery. The next 48 hours after the operation are extremely important as to whether he can recover, the doctor said.
Au noted that performing a second heart transplant on the same patient had been common in Europe and the United States but rarer in Asia, and never took place before in Hong Kong.
A surgery like this is normally riskier and more difficult compared to such transplant being done for the first time, the doctor said.
Calling the recipient still young and having a strong will to survive, Au said his team is confident that the surgery is highly likely to prove successful.
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