First Human Lung Transplantation

Vannessa | 11 - 09 - 2020
First Human Lung Transplantation

The first lung transplant ever was performed by Dr.James D. Hardy on June 11, 1963. The surgery took place at the University of Mississippi, a public research university in Oxford, Mississippi, USA. The chief surgeon was assisted by Watts R. Webb, Martin L. Dalton, Jr, and George R. Walker, Jr.

Who Was the First Person to Have a Lung Transplant?

The lung transplant was performed on a 58-year old male prisoner who was on a life sentence. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and had a history of cough, bloody sputum, and dyspnea.

History of Lung Transplantation

Nearly 400 studies and tests on animals were conducted before Dr. Hardy decided to perform a lung transplant on a human. A patient at the hospital who was admitted because of a severe case of myocardial infarction (heart attack) later became the lung donor as his condition worsened and there was no hope of survival. The doctors at the Mississippi Medical Center performed the first human lung transplant successfully and there was improvement in the convict’s pulmonary function.

In Which Country Did the First Human Lung Transplant Surgery Take Place?
  • A. China
  • B. Russia
  • C. USA
  • D. Australia

World’s First Successful Lung Transplant

But since the prisoner had already been on treatment for renal (kidney) problems, he died 18 days later in the hospital due to kidney failure. The postpartum procedure revealed that there were no signs of rejection in the transplanted lung (transplant rejection means that the recipient’s immune system considers the transplanted organ as a foreign body and starts attacking it. Fatigue, cough, chest pain, and fever are some of the signs of lung transplant rejection).


A lung for transplantation can either be taken from a deceased person or from a living person. Lungs that are taken from the donor have a very short shelf-life. They can be preserved only for an average of 6 hours and should be transplanted to the recipient as early as possible after which there are no chances of proceeding with the surgery.


Stats taken in 2016 revealed that more than 78% of the lung transplant recipients will live more than one year from the date of transplant and more than 63% of the recipients will survive more than three years from the date of transplant. The success rates of lung transplantation have significantly increased over the past few years because of the advancement in the medical field.

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