A groundbreaking medical procedure took place in Boston, where surgeons successfully transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig into a 62-year-old man who needed a transplant, the New York Times reports.

If the breakthrough is successful, it could bring hope to people who are suffering from kidney failure.

According to the New York Times report, the indications are encouraging so far.

Physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital, known as Mass General, have reported that the patient’s condition is steadily improving since the surgery last weekend.

The patient, Mr. Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman of Weymouth, Mass., is recovering well at MGH and is expected to be discharged soon, as stated on the hospital’s website on Thursday.

“The real hero today is the patient, Mr Slayman, as the success of this pioneering surgery, once deemed unimaginable, would not have been possible without his courage and willingness to embark on a journey into uncharted medical territory. As the global medical community celebrates this monumental achievement, Mr. Slayman becomes a beacon of hope for countless individuals suffering from end-stage renal disease and opens a new frontier in organ transplantation,” said Joren C. Madsen, MD, DPhil, Director of the MGH Transplant Center.

The new kidney has already started producing urine, which is an encouraging sign of progress.

Slayman is currently moving around the hospital and could be released shortly.

According to Dr Winfred Williams, an associate chief of the nephrology division at Mass General and the patient’s primary kidney doctor, a new source of kidneys “could solve an intractable problem in the field — the inadequate access of minority patients to kidney transplants.”

A medical director for kidney transplantation at Mass General, Dr. Leonardo V. Riella, said the widespread use of genetically modified animal kidneys for transplantation could render dialysis unnecessary.

The transplant programme was developed by Mass General Brigham, the hospital’s parent organisation.

More than 800,000 individuals in the United States suffer from kidney failure, necessitating dialysis as a crucial procedure to eliminate toxins from their bloodstream.

There is a significant demand for transplanted kidneys, with over 100,000 individuals currently waiting to receive one from a living or deceased donor.

In addition, tens of millions of Americans have chronic kidney disease, which can lead to organ failure.

Although dialysis is crucial for sustaining life, the most effective treatment is an organ transplant.

The Nigerian Senate, last Thursday, urged the Federal Government to broaden the scope of the National Health Insurance Scheme to include individuals suffering from chronic kidney disease.

The Senate’s resolutions came about after Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua (APC, Katsina Central) sponsored a motion during Tuesday’s plenary.

According to Yar’Adua’s presentation, 25 million Nigerians suffer from renal illnesses, according to new data from the Nigerian Association of Nephrology.

Surgeons at the University of Maryland had successfully performed heart transplants on two patients with heart disease, using hearts from genetically modified pigs.

Despite the organs functioning well and showing no signs of rejection, both patients, who were suffering from advanced disease, passed away shortly after.