Professor of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at Ain Shams University, Ayman Tharwat, announced on 18 December that Egypt’s first whole-lung transplant was completed successfully at the university’s hospital.
Tharwat, who was a key person in the preparation and execution of the surgery, noted that two brothers donated parts of their lungs to their sister, Sahar, 28, who was suffering from fatal respiratory failure and severe pulmonary fibrosis.
The operation lasted for over 15 hours, with three anesthesiologists and surgeons participating across three separate operating theatres. According to Tharwat, upward of 25 doctors, nurses, and accompanying staff also aided in the operation, many of which had taken medical training courses in Japan.
The operation took two full months of preparation, with Japanese expert Hiroshi Date attending the surgery in order to supervise the proceedings.
Egypt has been making moves to encourage organ donations, with many cases still waiting on organ transplants amid a scarcity of donors. Tharwat expressed hope that this success would set a precedent, and evoke a “glimmer of hope” to save hundreds of Egyptian lives.