Chennai, May 2022: 63-year-old gentleman was suffering from symptoms of liver ailments like fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea since many years. When the patient visited Fortis Vadapalani, he was in a critical condition and was diagnosed with end stage liver cirrhosis. Dr. Swati Raju, Transplant Hepatologist, Fortis Vadapalani was the first to evaluate and diagnose him. The reports revealed that the liver function was deranged to the extent where liver transplant was recommended as the only option for survival.
Dr. Sugi Subramaniam – Liver Transplant Surgeon did the evaluation and identified the youngest daughter of the patient, who is also a mother to two children, met the requirements for an ideal match for liver donation. The donor and her family members were counselled by the transplant team to help them understand the complete process from pre-surgical evaluation for donor and recipient, to post-surgical recovery.
Dr. Puneet Dargan, Senior Consultant – Liver Transplant Surgeon added, “As a father it was emotional for the recipient to initially accept a part of his daughter’s liver. However, once he understood the transplant and how the liver will heal and grow, he agreed’. The team of experts from Fortis Vadapalani, led by Dr. Vivek Vij, operated for 8 hours and successfully transplanted the liver. The patient and donor were then transferred to the dedicated Liver ICU, under the supervision of the Critical Care Liver Team, led by Dr. Tanuja Mallik, Head of Anesthesiology & Critical Care.
The donor was shifted from ICU to ward on the 5th day post-surgery and was discharged on the 9 th day. She said, ‘I didn’t think twice about doing this as this was for my father and I wanted him there for his grandkids. My husband was my major support throughout this journey; he was with me for every step. I am very happy to see the improvements in my father’s health post-transplant. Since this was my first ever surgery, I was a little nervous but with the detailed counselling from the doctors, I was convinced to proceed with the donation’
The recipient was shifted from ICU to ward on the 6 th day and discharged on the 17 th day post liver transplant. ‘I feel blessed and am immensely grateful to my daughter. Without her, I wouldn’t have been here. I am grateful for the care provided by an excellent team of doctors, nurses and staff who have been very positive throughout. My health and quality of life now has improved significantly compared to how I had been feeling in the last few years’, he added. ‘It gives us immense pleasure to see both the donor and recipient in good health and living a normal life’, added Dr. Poorna Chandran, Medical Superintendent at Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani. ‘Firstly, we have to appreciate the contribution of the young mother who came forward to donate part of her liver for her ailing father and her husband who supported her resolve’. He also congratulated the multidisciplinary surgical team, infection care team, dieticians, physiotherapists, and nurses who worked in close coordination for yet another case of clinical excellence under the leadership of Dr. Vivek Vij.
Elaborating on the surgery, Dr. Vivek Vij, Chairman – Advanced Surgical GI, HPB and Liver Transplant, Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani, said, “Liver is the second most transplanted organ and liver ailments are the tenth most prevalent cause of mortality in India. However, due to lack of awareness about live organ donation, there is still a significant long wait. There is a belief that organs can only be retrieved from the deceased when it comes to organ donation. It is imperative to raise public awareness about the possibility of donating one’s liver while still alive. Although most transplants involve the whole organ, segmental transplants are being performed with increasing frequency. In India, more than 80% of transplants are from living donors using only 50% of their healthy liver. The biggest challenge however is getting the right donor and liver that would match the patient’s blood group and be of adequate size. In this case, our best option was to find a close relative to opt for a living donor for liver transplant. The fascinating thing about the liver that most people do not know is that it has a unique ability to regenerate itself.”