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NEW YORK (Kyodo) A 7-year-old girl was released from a New York hospital Tuesday after surviving a risky auto-transplantation operation led by Tokyo Dr. Tomoaki Kato in which six of her organs were temporarily removed to excise a tennis ball-size abdominal tumor.

Kato said his team of seven surgeons and eight other clinicians removed Heather McNamara’s large and small intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen and stomach Feb. 6 while three other surgical teams worked to remove the tumor, which was entangled with vital organs and essential blood vessels.

Her liver and large and small intestines were re-implanted, but the pancreas, spleen and stomach — nonvital organs that had been compromised by the tumor — were judged unsuitable, Kato said at a news conference at Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

The 23-hour operation was the first of its kind performed on a child, according to Kato’s team. The team successfully conducted a similar operation, the world’s first, on a 63-year-old woman 11 months earlier.

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