Pioneering surgeon Sir Roy Calne who carried out Europe’s first liver transplant dies | UK News

Professor Sir Roy Calne, a pioneering surgeon who led Europe’s first liver transplant operation in 1968, has died at the age of 93.

Sir Roy died in Cambridge late on Saturday evening, his family said.

The surgeon led the landmark transplant operation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, on 2 May 1968.

In 1978, he became the first doctor to use an immunosuppressant, which was found to be effective in reducing organ rejection.

Immunosuppressants remain an important part of life for modern transplant patients, who take the drugs for the rest of their lives to ensure donated organs are not rejected.

Nine years later, he is said to have conducted the earliest ever liver, heart and lung transplant, and in 1992, he carried out the UK’s first intestinal transplant.

And two years after that, Sir Roy achieved another world first when he successfully performed a multi-visceral transplant combining stomach, intestine, pancreas, liver and kidney cluster.

In 2021, Addenbrooke’s named its transplant unit after Sir Roy.

A plaque was hung at the department’s entrance and a painting by the surgeon – who was also a keen artist – was hung in the unit.

“Sir Roy put Cambridge on the map as an international centre for excellence in transplantation, a reputation we strive to maintain,” his friend and colleague Professor Chris Watson said at the time.

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