Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chain of liver transplant surgeries saves three children
Doctors at Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon claimed to have conducted a first-of-its-kind chain of liver transplants in the world, saving the lives of three children. The surgeries involved a simultaneous swap-exchange of donated livers between families, besides domino liver transplant — wherein a patient undergoing liver transplantation is, in turn, able to donate his liver to another recipient.

The procedure, which stretched over 20 hours, involved six surgeries performed by a team of 110 surgeons — led by Dr A S Soin, chairman of Medanta Liver Institute. The children — three-year-old Tejasree Ramanathan, 23-month-old Anees Kakroo and 21-month-old Ansa Munshi — did not have any suitable donors in their families. While Anees had no donor at all, Tejasree and Ansa had mismatched ones.

Dr Soin said, “This surgery, the world’s first transplant chain, was like a rocket launch — with prior allocation of time and target-bound responsibilities to individual team members. We started at 4 am and wrapped up the procedure by 12 midnight. With this surgery, we also made the best use of an organ that seemed like a waste.”

Tejasree was suffering from a rare metabolic disorder called Maple Syrup Urine Disease, where the lack of a necessary enzyme in her body causes the accumulation of certain amino acids, resulting in recurring toxicity in the brain.

While a new liver would give Tejasree enough of the enzyme to cure her problem, her own organ — which was otherwise normal -- could be used to save some other child who needed a transplant for a different reason.

Anees and Ansa were both suffering from Biliary Atresia, a fatal disease of the liver, and needed new ones.

Dr Neelam Mohan, Director of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medanata Liver Institute, said, “Tejasree’s father donated a portion of his liver to Ansa and saved her life. Ansa’s father, Ajit Sajjad Mushi, donated a portion of his liver to Tejasree and gave her a new lease of life. For Anees, a domino liver transplant was performed where Tejasree’s liver, which was otherwise normal, was given to him.”

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