One month after an experimental procedure to transplant the heart of a genetically modified pig into a patient with end-stage heart disease, doctors say the heart is functioning on its own and shows no signs of rejection. From a reoport: In September, 58-year-old Lawrence Faucette underwent the surgery, only the second ever performed in a human. Faucette's heart disease and pre-existing conditions made him ineligible for a traditional human heart transplant. "The physicians taking care of him believe his heart function is excellent," said Dr. Bartley Griffith, director of the Cardiac and Lung Transplant Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who performed the surgery. "We've had no evidence of infections and no evidence of rejection right now."
Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, director of UMMC's Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program, said in an update shared on Friday, "we are withdrawing all the drugs that were initially supporting his heart. So now his heart is doing everything on its own." Mohiuddin said the focus now is making sure that Faucette has the strength to perform routine functions. "We are working very hard with our physical therapy team who are spending a lot of time helping him regain the strength that he's lost during last one month of hospital stay," Mohiuddin said.