State's first intestinal transplant surgery performed in city

City doctors performed Karnataka’s first intestine transplant surgery to save the life of a factory worker from Davangere district.

The recipient, in his 40s, suffered from severe stomach pain around nine months ago while at work. Assuming it was appendicitis, his employers admitted him to a hospital in his hometown.

It was only when his condition worsened that Venkatesh was diagnosed to be suffering from a rare condition called Intestinal Ischemia. Acute mesenteric ischemia is a type of intestinal ischemia that usually affects the small intestine. It occurs due to lack of supply of oxygen-rich blood to the intestine, resulting in the death of intestine cells.

The small intestine is six metres long in adults. It is where 90% of the digestion and absorption happens, according to doctors. Providing Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) or intravenous nutrition would have been costly.

“Unlike most other cases, the donor for intestinal transplant is a cadaver. There were times when we had to postpone the operation as the condition of the patient was not stable due to elevated sugar levels, fluctuating blood pressure and even infections due to the TPN,” said Dr Mahesh Gopasetty, consultant transplant surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.

It was in March 2017 that the procedure was conducted. Today, the recipient, who is near normal, has begun consuming food again.

The technique

A technique was used where intestinal transplant was performed without creating a stoma. The transplanted intestine was connected to a part of the large intestine instead of creating a stoma (opening) where a loop of the intestine or a bag is connected.

The excreta is carried on through it. With this, the patient can continue his bowel movement in a normal manner without any discomfort of carrying a bag with him always.

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