U.S. doctors perform kidney transplant on awake patient in milestone

A medical team in the United States has performed a rare kidney transplant during which the patient was awake throughout the procedure and was discharged the next day.

John Nicholas, from Indianapolis, underwent the awake transplant last month at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. His childhood friend, Patrick Wise, whom he has known since elementary school was the live donor.

Instead of using a general anesthesia, which requires the patient to be intubated, doctors used a spinal epidural shot, which is a regional anesthesia also used during a C-section or a routine colonoscopy.

Nicholas told Media that seeing his friend’s kidney before they put it in was “pretty amazing.”

The doctors even asked what kind of music he would like to listen to during the procedure. Nicholas picked The Killers, one of his favourite bands.

“At the beginning, I was actually singing along to that,” he said, smiling.Since a blind was hung up around his neck area, Nicholas, who was fairly drowsy because of a mild sedative, couldn’t actually see the surgery in real time, but he could still hear the surgeons as they interacted with him step-by-step how the transplant was going. The operation took less than two hours.

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