Eight organs transplanted

Surgeons in America have successfully performed a record eight organ transplant on a six-month old girl. In a 12-hour operation, Italian Alessia Di Matteo received a new liver, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestine, spleen and two kidneys.

Alessia suffered from 'smooth muscle' condition, a fatal disorder of the digestive system.

Professor Andreas Tzakis at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami performed the operation.

Dr Tzakis said: "To my knowledge this is the first attempt at eight organs."

Dr Tzakis performed the last record transplant operation, of seven organs, in 1997. He said at least one previous transplant patient has lived ten years and others are doing well.

"When these children survive the surgery and do well, they can do perfectly well."

Her new organs came from a one year old baby.

Alessia is currently still under observation but should be able to return to Italy in another three months, according to &to=http://www.bbc.co.uk' target=_blank>BBC

Alessia Di Matteo, who is now 7 1/2 months old. Alessia, of Genoa, Italy, was born with congenital smooth muscle disorder, which prevented normal function of her stomach, intestines and kidneys. The condition is fatal if left untreated. "In order to treat the child, one must replace all of these abdominal organs," said Dr. Andreas Tzakis, the lead surgeon.

The child now weighs about 13 pounds and is fed through a tube, but is out of intensive care, Tzakis said. She is expected to remain in Miami several more weeks for observation.

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