In a world first, Okayama University Hospital has succeeded in combining parts of a brain-dead donor's lungs to make one lung and transplanted it into a woman in her 50s.

The lower parts of both of the female donor's lungs were damaged, making transplantation of an entire lung impossible, according to Dr. Takahiro Oto, the professor at the university who performed the surgery on Saturday.

"In Japan, donated organs are in short supply and we cannot waste even one," Oto told a news conference Sunday. "We want to save patients by using parts of organs that are in good condition."