Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety
Blood, tissues and organs
There are many types of organs that are currently being transplanted in order to cure multiple diseases, for example:
Heart transplantation is performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease. The most common procedure is to take a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor (allograft) and implant it into the patient. The patient's own heart may either be removed (orthotopic procedure) or, less commonly, left in to support the donor heart (heterotopic procedure).
While lung transplants carry certain associated risks, they can also extend life expectancy and enhance the quality of life for end-stage pulmonary patients.
A heart-lung transplant is a procedure carried out to replace both heart and lungs in a single operation. Due to a shortage of suitable donors, it is a rare procedure
Kidneys are the most frequently transplanted organs. Kidney transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney in a patient with end-stage renal disease. Kidney transplantation is typically classified as deceased-donor (formerly known as cadaveric) or living-donor transplantation depending on the source of the recipient organ. As every deceased donor has 2 kidneys, 2 patients can be provided with a donor kidney. Living-donor renal transplants are further characterized as genetically related (living-related) or non-related (living-unrelated) transplants, depending on whether a biological (family) relationship exists between the donor and recipient.
Liver transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with a healthy liver allograft. Liver transplantation nowadays is a well accepted treatment option for end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure. In some cases, a liver can be split and therewith 2 patients can be provided with a new organ.
A pancreas transplant involves implanting a healthy pancreas (one that can produce insulin) into a person who has diabetes. The healthy pancreas comes from a donor who has just died or it may be a partial pancreas from a living donor. At present, pancreas transplants are usually performed in persons with insulin-dependent diabetes who have severe complications.
Treatments based on substances of human origin are dependent on citizens who are willing to donate organs. We are all potential donors able to help patients in need, and in many cases donors are even able to save other people's lives.