The Kyoto University Hospital said the woman underwent an 11-hour surgery by a 30-person medical team on Wednesday to transplant lung tissue from her husband and son.
But the Kyoto Hospital said that this is the first case in which lung tissue is transplanted from living donors to a Covid-19 patient.
Dr. Hiroshi Date, the chest surgeon at the hospital who led the operation, said it gave hope to patients with severe lung damage from Covid-19.
“We showed that we now have the option of a lung transplant (from living donors),” he said at a news conference on Thursday.
The patient, who was only identified as a woman from the Kansai region in western Japan, contracted Covid-19 late last year and spent months on a life support machine that was functioning as an artificial lung, according to Kyoto University Hospital.
Covid-19 caused so much damage to her lungs that they were no longer functioning, and she required a lung transplant to survive.
The woman’s husband and son offered to donate parts of their lungs. Deceased donor brain transplants are still rare in Japan, and living donors are considered a better option, according to the hospital statement.
The husband and son are in stable condition and the woman is in intensive care. You should be able to leave the hospital in about two months, according to the hospital.