External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday underwent a kidney transplant at AIIMS, with the organ being harvested from a living unrelated donor. According to sources at AIIMS, the nearly five-hour-long surgery was conducted at the cardio-thoracic centre by a team of doctors including AIIMS Director M C Mishra, surgeons V K Bansal, V Seenu and nephrologist Sandeep Mahajan.
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“The surgery started at 9 am and ended at 2.30 pm following which the minister has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the same building,” the sources said.
“Living, unrelated donor could be anyone who is emotionally attached to the recipient, such as friend, a relative, a neighbour or an in-law. As no suitable donor was available in the immediate family, the transplant was done with the kidney from a living unrelated donor.
“The clearance from the authorisation committee was obtained prior to the procedure,” the sources at AIIMS said, adding.
According to doctors, 64-year-old Swaraj has been suffering from diabetes for quite a long time. After the kidney failure diagnosis, she was put on maintenance dialysis.
“She was undergoing dialysis thrice a week,” a senior doctor said.
On November 16, Swaraj had tweeted that she was in AIIMS because of kidney failure.
“I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless,” Swaraj had tweeted.
Swaraj, who has been in and out of the hospital for last few months, was admitted to AIIMS on November 7. After Swaraj made public her health condition on social media, support had poured in for her with several people offering their kidneys for transplant. Earlier she was admitted to AIIMS in April for treatment of pneumonia and other health issues.