In a first for Hong Kong, a hospital in the city has completed the region's first-ever combined heart and liver transplant in a 20-hour operation involving almost 70 medical staff. An unidentified 27-year-old woman received the organs from a brain-dead donor, while giving her own failing but still usable liver to a 62-year-old man with liver cancer, a Queen Mary Hospital spokeswoman told AFP on Sunday.
The operation, which took place on Friday, was deemed a success and both patients are in "satisfactory condition", she said, adding that they are expected to be discharged in two weeks.
"This is the first time in Hong Kong that a heart and liver combined have been put in a patient," she said.
"If she had not had a new liver and heart, she would have died."
The woman has a fatal hereditary condition known as familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy in which a failing liver also affects the functioning of other organs, including the heart, the spokeswoman said.
The complicated operation involved four cardiac anaesthesiologists, five cardiac surgeons, six liver anaesthesiologists, seven liver surgeons and more than 40 nurses.