Tanzanian child undergoes successful liver transplant

ST Correspondent
Sunday, 22 July 2018

The living-donor transplant came from the infant’s father who donated a portion of his healthy liver to the child

Pune: A four-month-old infant from Tanzania underwent successful liver transplant in a Mumbai-based private hospital. The infant was suffering from a congenital condition of the liver, ‘Biliary Atresia’ which had blocked the bile flow from the liver causing irreversible damage and scarring of the liver cells. The living-donor transplant came from the infant’s father who donated a portion of his healthy liver to the child.

Dr Darius Mirza, Head, HPB and Multi-Organ Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai said that the condition of ‘Biliary Atresia’ can be surgically corrected with 40 per cent success if diagnosed early and is very rare. The life-saving transplant was performed on June 30. 

“However, in this case, the problem was only noticed by the family when the infant’s grandmother, who is a nurse came to see him and noticed the hard liver and white stools. Till then, he was being treated for jaundice by local doctors. He was referred to the hospital where after a complete evaluation, the condition was diagnosed. The delay in detection of the condition had led to extensive damage to the infant’s liver with the development of life-threatening liver failure. It was too late for surgical correction of the condition and it was decided to go in for a life-saving liver transplant,” said Dr Mirza.

The doctor further added that the infant was found fit for the liver transplant procedure and the process to identify a donor was started.
“Though a match, the infant’s mother was found not physically fit to donate. Fortunately, the infant’s father was found to be a suitable match. The parents were counselled on the transplant procedure and the medication and management that would be required post the transplant surgery. A multi-speciality team that consisted of transplant surgeons, paediatricians and dieticians charted out a detailed plan to prepare the infant for the transplant,” said Mirza.

Dr Vikram Raut, another doctor from the team, said that a portion of the father’s liver was removed and transplanted into the infant.

“The infant has shown good recovery without any complications. He was kept under observation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for two weeks post the surgery and has since been transferred to a patient room. He is scheduled to be discharged in a month and the father made an uneventful recovery too. As the human liver regenerates and returns to its normal size shortly after surgical removal of part of the organ, the father should regain normal size and function in a short time,” said Raut.

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