Matchmaker, Find Me a Match

Outwitting the body's defenses, surgeons have become hugely successful at transplants. They could do a lot more, if only there were more organs

With flying fingers, fine sutures and a potent arsenal of drugs, surgical teams have become so successful at transplanting organs that the demand for viable tissue has far outstripped supply. In 1967, the first person ever to feel the beat of another man's heart in his own chest survived for just 18 days after the operation. Today, more than eight out of 10 heart recipients live at least a year with their borrowed organs. For kidney transplants, first-year survival tops 90%. As success rates soar, doctors attempt ever more variations on the transplant theme: installing a new pancreas, lobes of a...

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