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KEM’s first liver transplant patient to return home

On Wednesday, doctors at the KEM Hospital in Parel said goodbye to a special patient.

mumbai Updated: Oct 21, 2010 02:01 IST
Sonal Shukla
Sonal Shukla
Hindustan Times

On Wednesday, doctors at the KEM Hospital in Parel said goodbye to a special patient.

A month ago, Ulhas Chaudhari, 27, became the first patient to undergo a liver transplant at the civic hospital. On Wednesday, he was discharged from the hospital, which had almost become a second home for him.

The Jalgaon-based mechanical engineer was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis wherein his immune cells attacked and damaged his liver. He had slipped into a pre-coma situation due to liver failure. His father, Sashikant (51) donated the right lobe of his liver.

On his last day at the hospital, an emotional Ulhas said that he was fortunate to have received complete support from his family and doctors at KEM. “I was scared to undergo this liver transplant at first, but my father convinced me and my fear vanished,” said Ulhas.

“We are not going to end with one liver transplant. We plan to make it a regular ongoing programme in KEM, ” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, KEM Hospital.

In June, the Rs 8 crore facility for liver transplants was inaugurated at KEM Hospital.

The facility will benefit patients, who would not have been able to afford a liver transplant at private hospitals, which charge around Rs 20 lakh for the surgery.

At KEM a liver transplants cost between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

This is a third of the cost in a private hospitals, said Prof Dr AS Soin, chief liver transplant surgeon, who helped set up the programme at KEM.

According to doctors, almost 95 per cent of liver transplants are successful in India.

On an average, three to four patients die of liver diseases every week at KEM Hospital, said Dr Shobha Bhatia, professor gastroentrology.

Presently, the hospital has 23 patients on its waiting list for a liver transplant. If cadaver donation picks up in India, it will help more such people, said doctors.

First Published: Oct 21, 2010 02:00 IST