Transplantation is a surgical operation in which tissues , parts of an organ or an entire organ are taken from one body (donor) to be transplanted for therapeutic purposes to another body (recipient) or elsewhere from the same body. The donor can be of the same or a different species; he may be both alive and dead. Organ transplants are usually life-saving and tissue transplants are life-sustaining.
The organs to be transplanted are the heart , lungs , liver , kidneys , pancreas , intestines , and the tissues: bones , bone marrow , tendons , blood vessels , heart valves , skin , corneas and others.
The procedure of removing an organ or tissue from the donor’s body is called explantation .
The surgical skills and technologies needed for successful allotransplantation were known long before the main problem with transplants, the organ transplant rejection reaction, was discovered and studied . There is some apocryphal evidence of attempts at transplantation centuries before it became part of modern medicine. According to legend, the Chinese doctor Bian Ke exchanged the hearts of one man with a high spirit but a weak will and another with a low spirit but a strong will in an attempt to achieve balance in each of the two. According to legend, the 3rd century saints Damian and Cosmas exchanged the gangrene leg of the Roman deacon Justinian with the leg of a newly deceased Ethiopian .
There is relatively more reliable evidence of skin transplant attempts. The Indian surgeon Sushruta from the 2nd century probably performed an autotransplantation of skin in order to reconstruct a patient’s nose. Centuries later, the Italian Gasparo Taliacosi performed successful skin autotransplants, and even repeatedly attempted allograft transplants and gave the first evidence of foreign tissue rejection as early as 1596. In his work De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem , Taliacozi attributed the rejection reaction to “The power and might of the individual.”
The first successful corneal allotransplantation was performed in 1837 in a model experiment with gazelles. Successful human corneal transplantation was performed by Edward Zirm only 68 years later, in 1905. In 1883, the first human tissue implant was performed – thyroid transplantation , performed by Swiss Nobel laureate Theodor Kocher . In previous decades, Kocher has perfected the ability to remove excess thyroid tissue in cases of goiter . – to such an extent that he manages to remove the entire organ without the patient dying from the operation. Kocher resorted to total organ resection in several cases in an attempt to prevent recurrence of goiter. In 1883, the surgeon noticed that the absence of the organ led to a complex of symptoms, which today are associated with a lack of thyroid hormones. Kocher managed to cope with these symptoms by re-implanting thyroid tissue in his patients, thus making the first successful organ transplants. Kocher and other surgeons subsequently used thyroid transplantation to treat spontaneous glandular insufficiency. In 1909, Kocher received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of thyroid function ..
Thyroid transplantation is becoming a model for a completely new therapeutic strategy – organ transplantation. Around 1900, a number of attempts were made to organ transplants with animals . Attempts are being made to transplant the adrenal gland , pancreas , ovaries , testicles , kidneys , etc.  French surgeons Alexis Carel and Charles Claude Guthrie , who transplanted arteries and veins, pioneered transplant surgical techniques. In 1902, Karel performed a series of experimental transplants of dogs, incl. kidneys, heart and spleen, being the first to investigate the problem of the reaction ofrejection of the transplanted organ . For his work, Karel received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1912. The rejection reaction, however, remained an insurmountable problem for decades after his work. Research on organ transplants was abandoned in the years after the First World War, despite some successful work by German surgeon Georg Schöne on suppressing the immune response in transplantation. On the other hand, tissue and especially skin transplantation is developing rapidly, thanks to the work of Harold Giles . In 1962 the first successful replantation of severed limbs with partial restoration of their functions and sensitivity took place.
List of Acronyms Related to Transplantation