It doesn’t seem like a big fairytale if we try to imagine that, in the future, all of our organs could be replaced easily. But there is a question about whether it can help us make the duration of our lives longer. There is a legend about David Rockefeller, that had 7 heart transplants and 2 kidney transplants in 20 years. He lived to be 101 years old.
Even if this is true, we’re curious to see if it would be possible to live even longer. But the cost of organ transplants can be pretty high. You will pay $500 for a shoulder, $1,500 for eyes, a heart can cost more than $250,000. In total it could cost more than $1,000,000.
In theory, yes we could live much longer. Kidneys and heart transplants can prolong our lives dramatically and help us live 20 more years. But we also shouldn’t forget about post-operative complications, including infections and organ rejection.
The immune system can be very vulnerable, which is why it often rejects transplanted organs. Fortunately, medical science is constantly growing and now they’ve found a solution using stem cells. These stem cells can help a body adjust and not reject the transplants.
But let’s make a simple calculation of how many operations we would need to live 1000 years.
- A typical patient will live 10 to 15 years longer with a kidney transplant, so 66 operations are necessary.
- Heart transplants add an average 20 years, so this would require 50 operations.
- Liver transplants can prolong someone’s life for around 30 years. This means 33 operations.
- Lung transplants can increase life by 10 years. So 100 operations are needed to live 1000 years.
- Intestine transplants add 5 years, this means 200 operations.
Just in theory, organ transplantation can prolong life, but you’d need to constantly renew your body and surgery is also a big risk.
One way or another, even if the aging process of vital organs is slowed down with the help of organ transplantation, there can be other factors that won’t allow us to live forever or that much longer. It could be the longevity of the DNA that has been embedded in us since birth, for example.
Basically, your chances are good to live a healthier life after a transplant nowadays, but to think that by doing this you can live much longer than others has still yet to be determined. For these purposes, science still has a long way to go.
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