Swap liver transplant successful

Eighteen-month-old Nigerian child Dike with with his mother after undergoing a successful liver transplant surgery at Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

The child, Dike Ezeanya, son of a Nigerian businessman, and 44-year-old Priya Ahuja have undergone what is being claimed as the first successful swap liver transplant, also called paired donation, in the country for which a team of 35 doctors laboured for 26 hours in four operating theatres.

“In such cases, an incompatible pair of donor and recipient are matched with another incompatible donor or recipient pair and the livers are exchanged between them,” A S Soin, chief liver transplant surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram hospital(SGRH) said.

“The blood groups of Dike and his mother Ezeanya Chinwe, the donor, were B positive and A positive respectively and that of Priya and her husband Haresh (donor) were A positive and B positive respectively. Both donors’ blood groups did not match their own recipients’ but they were suitable for the other ones.”

Case histories

Dike was detected with advanced liver failure five months after his birth. His family flew down to SGRH in February 2009 for treatment.

“Immediate remedy could not be chalked out. Dike’s father was not medically fit to donate,” Neelam Mohan, paediatric hepatologist, SGRH said adding, “only a cadaver donor could be of help.”

Meanwhile, Ahuja, who was admitted to the hospital in March 2009, was also detected with advanced liver failure three months later.

“Since both were struggling with their lives due to terminal liver failure and with no cadaver donor and living donors’ liver not fit for them, the idea of swapping donors struck us. ” Soin said. “The biggest challenge in paired donation transplants is that both transplants must take place simultaneously, otherwise the donor for the second transplant may refuse to undergo surgery once his own loved one has received the donated organ,” Soin said.

Sanjiv Saigal, the Transplant Hepatologist in charge of Priya’s case said, “This opens up unique opportunities for matchmaking between donors and recipients from different families, thus helping save more lives with liver transplants.”

PTI

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