The World’s First Kidney Transplant by Ukrainian Dr. Yurii Voronyi in 1933

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Yurii Voronyi (1895-1961) was the first doctor in the world to perform renal transplantation in the clinic. The operation was conducted in 1933 in Kherson. The recipient was a young woman who suffered from renal failure due to poisoning with chloride mercury. The kidney was implanted into the femoral artery and the vein. The results of the intervention were published in 1934 in the national editions and in 1936 abroad. [Organ Transplantation in Ukraine] Yurii Yurijevich Voronyi was born in 1896 in the village of Zhuravka near Poltava city of Ukraine, where his father was a professor of mathematics. Yurii received his medican education in Kyiv and after graduating in 1921, worked as a surgeon and researcher in Kyiv and nearby cities. From 1926 to 1931, he worked in Kharkov where he was a member of the Department of Surgery. It was during those years that Voronyi became interested in blood transfusion and the possibility of organ transplantations. In 1931, Voronoy moved to Kherson where the new position gave him new responsibilities for emergency surgical treatment. On April 3, 1933, Voronyi performed the first human allograft kidney transplant. As his later published works prove, Voronyi understood the need for immunosuppression in transplantation already at the time of his pioneer operation. In 1950, Voronyi became Professor of Experimental Surgery of the Ukrainian Institute of Experimental Biology and Pathology. In 1953, Voronyi became the head of the Kyiv Research Institute of Traumatic Surgery and Blood Transfusion. He died in Kiev in 1961.

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