The term transplantation is used to describe the procedure of implanting a tissue, a portion of tissue, or a complete organ taken from the body of a donor within the body of a recipient, or alternatively taken from a donor site for insertion at a recipient site within a single patient in instances of autographting, for the purpose of compensating for an absent or damaged organ. Whereas transplantable organs, which presently include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestines and thymus, are generally sourced from living individuals or donors that have been pronounced “brain dead,” donor tissue, such as varying proportions of bone, tendon, corneal tissue, skin and veins, can be donated from the living or recently deceased and preserved for some time in storage in a process termed tissue banking. Transplantation remains one of the most challenging and multifaceted disciplines of modern medicine due to the obvious intricacies implicated in those procedures of removal and insertion, as well as the looming possibility for transplant rejection following successful implantation. Although the occurrence of transplant rejection, during which the recipient’s immune system reacts adversely to the transplanted tissue or organ and can ultimately result in body’s refusal of said transplant, diminishes greatly with the passage of time following the transplant procedure, precautions of tissue typing and immunosuppressant drug therapy remain enormously essential steps in the avoidance of rejection.
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