First Israeli ‘reuse’ of kidney saves brother after transplanted sister dies of stroke

The kidney was removed from her body and flown to Israel, where it was transplanted into her brother.

May 29, 2016 16:04
1 minute read.
Israel hospital

From right, Dr. Evyatar Nesher, deputy head of Beilinson transplant department, kidney recipient, and Prof. Eitan Mor, head of the department . (photo credit: RABIN MEDICAL CENTER)


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For the first time in Israel – and only the fifth reported case in the world – a “secondhand” kidney has been successfully transplanted after the recipient’s 55-yearold sister suffered a stroke nine years after she received it abroad and she went into lower-brain death.

The kidney was removed from her body and flown to Israel, where it was transplanted into her brother at the Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva.

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Prof. Eitan Mor, head of the transplant department, explained: “The challenge of such a transplant is coping with many scarred blood vessels. Despite the early imaging carried out, it was possible to know if it could be connected only by doing open abdominal surgery.

Because the sister’s kidney was in excellent condition, we decide to re-transplant it into her brother.”

The brother suffered from the same kidney disease from which the sister suffered.

The surgeons’ skills plus “thinking out of the box” provides new ways to overcome the shortage of transplant organs, Mor said.

Rabin Medical Center director-general Dr. Eyran Halpern said that “this was an additional challenge that our transplant department took on. Happily, the operation succeeded, and the brother’s condition is good.

I am proud of our medical team who are not deterred by difficulties and forged their way ahead. This was a bold step that only a team with experience, faith and devotion could carry out.”

Previous breakthroughs at Beilinson include transplanting a kidney between a donor and a recipient with different blood types; encouraging live kidney donors; and cross-donations among family members who can donate and others who need organs.

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