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Get a liver transplant for just Rs 4 lakh at Victoria Hospital

First operation by Jan-end; surgery costs Rs 25-40 lakh in private hospitals
Last Updated : 06 January 2015, 20:02 IST

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State-run Victoria Hospital is all set to perform its first-ever liver transplant by the end of this month, that too at a subsidised cost of Rs four lakh. The operation costs Rs 25-40 lakh in private hospitals.

The operation would be performed at the liver transplant unit at the new PMSSY (Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana) building on the Victoria Hospital premises.

Dr N S Nagesh, professor and head, department of surgical gastroenterology, and head of the liver transplant unit, said the unit was an initiative by a team of medical professionals, including transplant surgeons, intensivists, anaesthetists, counsellors and co-ordinators.

“The government has been proactive in setting up the liver transplant unit and granted Rs seven crore for the purpose. Thirty-two medical equipment required for the transplantation have been procured and five more will arrive anytime soon,” he said. “If all goes well, we will perform the liver transplant by the end of January.”

A total of 207 patients with liver diseases have enrolled at the unit, of which about 20 patients have liver donors. One of the doctors in the team said that if they had cadaver donors, they would go ahead with cadaver liver transplant, too.

Unlike renal transplant, Dr Nagesh said, liver transplant is more challenging as it has numerous anastomoses (reconnection of two streams that previously branched out, such as blood vessels or leaf veins) and the entire operation takes about 12 hours. Cadaver donations are slowly catching up at hospitals in Bengaluru, but according to the Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka for Transplantation (ZCCK), most of the cadaver livers are sent to private hospitals as they are well equipped.

Dr Nagesh hoped the liver transplant unit at Victoria Hospital would cater to all sections of the society. He said that they had enrolled counsellors at the hospital to co-ordinate with the family and the ZCCK in case of any cadaver donations at the Victoria Hospital. The hospital is equipped to retrieve the organs as well as transplant them, he added.

Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil said the government had approved the financial grant, and the tender process to procure the medical equipment had been completed too. “Liver transplant, which normally costs Rs 25-40 lakh in private hospitals, will be subsidised to Rs four lakh. Whether the transplant can be included in the various health schemes has to be still looked into. Let the unit start functioning first,” he added.

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Published 06 January 2015, 20:02 IST

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