ROME - A hospital in northern Italy said Wednesday it had achieved a world first by successfully transplanting a kidney in the place of the spleen in a six-year-old girl.

The child had been on dialysis since birth because of a rare kidney anomaly and a malformation of the abdominal blood vessels, the Molinette hospital in Turin said in a statement.

The youngster, who was not named, had been unable to either urinate or drink, it said. She was operated on at the end of last week.

“In order to create the necessary space for the new kidney, a revolutionary and innovative technique was applied, with the removal of the spleen,” the hospital said.

“The girl is doing very well, she resumed urinating immediately and can finally drink after six years,” it said.