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Spare Parts

series: Blood & Guts: A History Of Surgery

air date: 3/05/13 8:59 PM

These days transplant surgery saves thousands of lives every year and almost everything can be replaced: your heart, your lungs, your liver, your eyes, even your hands and face. But in the beginning transplants didn’t cure, they killed, because surgeons didn’t understand that they were taking on one of the most efficient killing systems we know of – the human immune system. This episode traces the story of transplant surgery from a 19th-century neo-Nazi to the latest miraculous life- and limb-saving operations.

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