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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Grandmother’s gift of life for 6-year-old in PGIMER’s first living donor liver transplant

Dr Arunanshu Behera, nodal officer, liver transplant, PGIMER and his team conducted the surgery on Suraj, who was at a critical stage of liver failure when admitted there in August last year.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2019 19:39 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A six-year-old boy from Jharkhand has got a new lease of life in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s first living donor liver transplant
A six-year-old boy from Jharkhand has got a new lease of life in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s first living donor liver transplant (HT Stock Photo)
         

It was a marathon 15-hour surgery that gave six-year-old Suraj from Jharkhand the precious gift of life with a part of his 49-year-old grandmother Ninati Pahadi’s liver, marking a remarkable first living donor liver transplant (LDLT) for the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

Dr Arunanshu Behera, nodal officer, liver transplant, PGIMER and his team conducted the surgery on Suraj, who was at a critical stage of liver failure when admitted there in August last year. Just one year old when he started passing loose stools and his abdomen bloated up, his parents banked on faith healers for treatment, before finally taking him to a doctor when he started passing blood in his stools.

No money was charged for the operation.

“The doctor at Jharkhand referred him to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Delhi, and from there he was referred to PGIMER in August 2018,” said Anjan Pahadi, the patient’s uncle.

As Suraj’s condition worsened, PGIMER doctors said a liver transplant was the only option and also came forward to help as the family, which had already sold its village land to fund treatment, worried about finances.

“We had lost hope, but the doctors helped with one of them giving us ₹20,000 before surgery so we could buy drugs,” Anjan said.

A match was found in Ninati and the date set on Thursday. She was wheeled into the operation theatre (OT) at 6 am and the surgery started at 9 am

“Around 6 pm, the grandmother was moved to the post recovery room followed by the child at around 12 midnight,” said Anjan.

Dr Behera said the surgeons and medical team remained at the OT from 6 am to 2 am. The surgical team was led by him, and included Dr L Kaman and Dr Divya Dahiya; the paediatrics team was headed by Dr Sadhana Lal; paediatric gastroenterologist; and anesthesia by Prof GD Puri and included Dr Sameer Sethi and Dr Kamal Kajal.

Till late Friday evening, both the child and grandmother were doing well.

The deceased donor liver transplants (DDLT) were started at the institute in 2011 and “we have performed over 60 DDLTs with a success rate of 86%, which is quite good,” said Dr Behera.

On the wait of eight years to start transplants from living donors, he added it was needed to gain experience for the smooth transition of a transplant programme. “We were waiting for completion of over five dozen DDLTs,” he said.

Living donor liver transplant or LDLT involves transplanting a portion of a living donor’s liver into a recipient. The liver regenerates rapidly, reaching normal volume and function in a couple of months.

However, donating a portion of the liver can be risky for the donor because of operative and post-operative complications.

PGIMER has a waiting list of 50 to 60 patients with end stage liver disease who need a liver transplant urgently.

The cost is around Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh in PGIMER with a one-month stay

Why a medical marker? The programme is growing robust and is expected to supplement the DDLT programme. LDLT will mainly benefit children and young adults who need a transplant urgently.

First Published: Jan 26, 2019 19:11 IST

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