Surgeons in the US have transplanted a gene-edited pig kidney into a patient. 

A team at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) General Transplant Center successfully transplanted the pig kidney into a 62-year-old man suffering from end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), marking the first real-world use of the new organ transplantation method.

The operation, which took place on March 16, lasted approximately four hours. 

The procedure represents a major milestone in addressing the critical shortage of human organs available for transplantation.

The genetically-modified pig kidney, which underwent 69 genomic edits to enhance compatibility with the human immune system, was developed through a collaborative effort between MGH and eGenesis, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

The team used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to eliminate harmful pig genes and incorporate human genes, significantly reducing the risk of organ rejection and infection in humans.

MGH has a rich history of pioneering organ transplants, including the first successful human organ transplant in 1954 and the nation's first penile transplant in 2016. 

The patient, Rick Slayman, is reportedly recovering well and is expected to be discharged soon. 

As the field of xenotransplantation advances, further studies and collaborations will be crucial in making the innovative treatments more widely available.