A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy has become the smallest person in Britain to have a successful lung transplant.
Surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London carried out the transplant.
Mason Lewis has suffered from pulmonary hypertension since birth and struggled to develop as quickly as other children his age.
He was just 93cm (3ft) tall when the operation took place. Surgeons do not usually operate on children under 100cm.
People with PH have pulmonary arteries with thicker, less elastic walls. As a result, the heart struggles to pump blood to the lungs and has to work harder than normal. The person is often breathless as a result.
Mason’s consultant Dr Helen Spencer said: “It’s a bit like a traffic jam. The small vessels into the lungs are narrowed and you get a backlog of blood building up.”
Mason’s operation took eight hours. The lungs he received were just 11cm tall and each weighed 140g.
Prof Martin Elliott, who carried out the transplant, said surgeons used magnifying lenses during the operation and smaller stitches which eventually dissolve, reducing the risk of creating scar tissue that could inhibit future growth.
Without a transplant, he had been expected to survive about two years.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved