External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday underwent a successful kidney transplant and is now recuperating, AIIMS officials said. The surgery, conducted by team of 50 professionals, lasted for nearly six hours.
An AIIMS official said that the “transplanted kidney has started functioning”, and Swaraj, 64, who has been shifted to the intensive care unit, is under post-operative care. She is expected to be hospitalised for at least 10 days, the official added.
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The kidney was donated by a 40-year-old woman who is not related to Swaraj – AIIMS officials said both the donor and recipient have recovered from general anaesthesia and are under “close monitoring of post operative recovery”
“We were highly impressed by her determination. Not only was she confident herself, she gave confidence to others involved in the entire process. Family members have met her after the recovery and the transplanted kidney has started functioning,” AIIMS director Prof M C Misra told The Sunday Express.
Misra said that the transplant was conducted at the cardio-thoracic centre of AIIMS by a team of 50. Among them are transplant surgeon Mukut Minz, director of Fortis Hospital in Mohali, and V K Bansal of AIIMS; transplant anesthesiologists M K Arora, Rashmi Ramchandran, Vimmi Rewari and Dr Preet Mohinder Singh.
AIIMS officials said the transplant began at 9 am Saturday – the kidney was first harvested from the donor and then transplanted — and the whole procedure got over before 3 pm.
The transplant law in India recognises three types of living donors: near-relatives such as parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren or spouses; others who can donate for “affection and attachment” or for a special reason but not for financial considerations; and swap donors, where near-relative donors are swapped between patients whose own family members are incompatible.
Swaraj was admitted to AIIMS on November 7 and underwent various tests for the transplant under a team of four senior doctors from the hospital. The minister has a history of diabetes and was admitted at AIIMS on April 25 for three weeks. She was treated for fever, chest congestion with features of pneumonia in the Cardio-Neurosciences Centre after she had complained of severe chest congestion and pain.