A 15-year-old Indian-American boy suffering from a rare medical condition underwent a successful simultaneous liver and kidney transplant at a Delhi hospital last month. It was the first such operation in the world, doctors attending on him said on Tuesday.
Ganesh Nehru, a ninth-grade student in San Jose, California, was diagnosed with primary hyperoxaluria, an inherited disease, during a visit to India with his family. "We were devastated when the tests revealed that he had advanced renal failure, caused by a malfunction of the liver," said Hemlata, Ganesh's mother. "Doctors said the only hope was to opt for a combined kidney and liver transplant."
The family approached the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where surgeons agreed to take on the challenge. It was decided that Hemlata would donate a kidney while Ganesh's uncle, Mohan, would donate a part of his liver.
The surgery was performed on April 17. "The liver transplant had to be managed without any support from the patient's kidneys, as these had become useless," said Dr AK Soin, transplant surgeon in charge of the case. In patients suffering from primary hyperoxaluria, the liver lacks an enzyme called AGT, which results in the accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals inside the body. "High oxalate levels can affect the heart, bones, kidneys, pancreas, eyes and more," said Dr Dinesh Khullar, senior nephrologist, at Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
Ganesh's condition will be monitored at the hospital for another three months before he is discharged.