HUNTINGDON, England — British surgeons operating on a 35-year-old woman Wednesday performed the world's first known heart-lungs-liver transplant, a hospital spokesman said.
Davina Thompson, mother of a 9-year-old girl and wife of a coal miner from Rawmarsh, in northern England, was reported in satisfactory condition after the seven-hour operation at Papworth Hospital in Huntingdon.
Hospital spokesman Peter Campion said Thompson had been seriously ill since June, suffering from liver disease and pulmonary hypertension that affected the heart and lungs.
Campion said it was the first known attempt to replace a patient's heart, lungs and liver at the same time.
Thompson was "the first patient with this particular set of conditions, which could only be solved in this way," Campion said.
The woman had been on a transplant waiting list for about a month, and a donor was found Tuesday night, Campion said. She was flown from her home to the hospital for the operation, which ended at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The donor of the three organs was not identified.
Campion said it could be several years before another such transplant is performed.
"Normally when a person has a lot of problems, it is possible to perform the transplants separately," he said. "In this case, if we had carried out a liver transplant first, say, the woman's heart would have failed."