Last November, Professor Jan Pirk and team, at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) in Prague, performed the country’s first successful heart/lung transplant.
The 49-year-old female patient suffered serious lung damage due to an inherited heart disorder. By 2000, a heart/lung transplant was necessary — but not possible in the CR.
At the end of last year, due to extensive cooperation between Austrian specialists, IKEM and other selected physicians from the Thomayerova hospital, the Czech surgical team was present as residents when the Czech patient received her transplant in Austria. Surgery lasted about eight hours, without unexpected events or complications. Following a two-month in-patient stay, she was discharged in January this year, with advice to restrict visits to public places. She returned to the IKEM cardiac centre for weekly checkups.
At the time of going to press, the IKEM was preparing for its second heart/lung transplant. Estimates indicate that 2-3 patients annually will need this operation in the Czech Republic.