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Liver transplant cheaper at KEM

mumbai Updated: Jun 03, 2010 01:17 IST
HT Correspondent

Patients, who have suffered liver failure, will soon be able to undergo a liver transplant surgery for just Rs 5 lakh at the civic-run KEM Hospital in Parel. The facility will those who cannot afford a liver transplant at private hospitals, which charge around Rs 20 lakh for the surgery.

Though the state-of-the-art Rs 8-crore facility for liver transplants was inaugurated at KEM Hospital on Wednesday, doctors will be able to perform liver transplants only by July-end. “We have applied for registration with the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee. We can start performing surgeries after getting the sanction,” said Dr Chetan Kantharia, a liver transplant specialist at KEM Hospital.

The hospital will have a dedicated liver transplant programme for both related donors and cadaveric (using organ from deceased donors) transplants. Plan to have a liver transplant programmed in government-run JJ Hospital at Byculla is in the initial stage.

The facility at KEM includes two modular operation theatres and six-bedded Intensive Care Unit with separate cubicles for each patient. Each operation theatre has a media bridge to allow suspension of equipment to keep the floor clutter-free and Class I laminar airflow to ensure a germ-free and safe environment for surgeries.

“Such a facility is especially important for liver transplants because the procedure’s outcome depends on the body’s acceptance of the implanted liver. If the patient contracts an infection, it can lead to morbidity and rejection of the organ,” said Dr Kantharia.

Around 26 patients have already registered for surgeries at KEM. Four have relatives who are willing to donate — a portion of the liver is taken — and rest will wait for cadaver donations.

But the hospital will be able to start performing the procedure after sanction from the ZTCC. “At least the first 10 poor patients will undergo the transplant for free,” said Dr Kantharia.