In a first-of-its kind transplant in the region, a living donor liver transplantation was conducted at PGIMER on Thursday. The 21-hour-long surgery that started on Thursday morning concluded in the early hours of Friday. The liver was transplanted into a seven-year-old boy. Sources in the PGIMER said the live donor was none other than his grandmother. “Both are doing perfectly fine now,” doctors said.
Both the recipient and donor were wheeled into the operation theatre around 6.30 am on Thursday and the transplant ended successfully at 3 am on Friday.
“It was a complex surgery as lives of both the recipient and the donor were at risk, unlike the case when the donor is deceased. But it is a success now and we can proudly say that this facility is now available at PGIMER,” the doctor added.
Until now, the institute had to wait for a deceased donor to conduct the liver transplant. The child’s liver was not functioning properly and thus there was an urgent need to conduct the transplant. Doctors refused to share the patient’s clinical details due to ethical issues.
For a living donor, only parents, siblings or those directly related can donate up to 65 per cent of their liver to the recipient. “The liver has the power to regenerate upto 100 per cent within six to eight weeks and it will do so in the case of the donor here,” a doctor said.
The cost of the complete procedure is around Rs 8 -10 lakh, which the doctors said was one-third of the cost as compared to private hospitals. “Private hospitals in Delhi charge around Rs 30 lakh for this procedure,” said a doctor.
This surgery is another feather in the cap for the PGIMER as a patient generally has to wait at least three to six months for a liver. Even if the institute is donated a body, only a healthy liver can be transplanted.
The team that conducted the surgery was led by Professor Arunanshu Behera and included Professor L Kaman and Dr Divya Dahiya. The paediatrics team assisting them was led by Prof Sadhna Lal (paediatric gastroenterology).
Dr R K Dhiman, head of the hepatology department of PGIMER, said that at least 40 people are in the queue for a liver transplant. All are awaiting a donor. But now with this live liver transplant, they may not have to wait that long.
PGIMER started its Deceased Donor Liver Transplant (DDLT) programme in mid-2011. Over 60 transplants from deceased donors have been conducted till now.
According to PGIMER, a surgical team of the institute had waited to complete more than five dozen DDLTs to start live donor liver transplant.
“These surgeries were required for them to gain enough experience for the smooth transition of the transplant programme and its support system in the institute. The period between 2011 and 2018 was utilised to enhance the DDLT programme. As of now PGIMER is the country’s largest institutional DDLT centre,” a release by PGIMER said.
Professor Jagat Ram, director of PGIMER, congratulated the entire team of surgeons, paediatricians, anesthetists, technical and nursing staff, and appreciated them for achieving this important milestone in the institute.