Udaipur : Shalby Hospitals, which operates a chain of multispecialty hospitals across India, with an aim to provide access to life-saving liver transplants for those in need, has launched a Centre for Liver Disease and Transplant in its SG Highway, Ahmedabad facility. The hospital now has the expertise for all types of liver transplants including deceased donor liver transplants, living donor liver transplants, for adults as well as children, elective as well as emergency.
The adept team at Shalby recently carried out the oldest liver transplant in India, as 80-year old brain-dead Surat donor gave life to the patient in Ahmedabad suffering from liver disease in its critical stage. The liver was transported through a green corridor from Surat to Ahmedabad. Mr Kalyansinh from Udaipur, on the other hand, got a successful living donor liver transplant at the centre. MBBS and MS (Surgery), Dr. Vinay Kumaran, MBBS and MS (Surgery),
The surgery was led by Dr. Anand K Khakhar and Dr. Vinay Kumaran along with other team members which included Dr.Bhavin Vasavada and Dr.Hardik Patel.
It has been reported that every year 200,000 Indians die with liver disease recorded as the cause of death. It is estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 of them could have been saved by a liver transplant. However, the actual number of liver transplants done every year is less than one-tenth of this.
Liver transplantation is a relatively recent development in India and it became a regular procedure with reliable results only in the last 10 years. Moreover, due to shortage of donors, most liver transplants have been living donor liver transplants in which a family member of the patient donates part of the liver to the patient.
Dr. Anand K Khakhar, MBBS and MS (Surgery), M P Shah Medical College, Jamnagar on the occasion said, “In Gujarat, liver transplantation has been slow to develop due the lack of trained transplant surgeons. The occasional transplants done in a few centres in Ahmedabad were either deceased donor transplants (a simpler operation) or were done by visiting surgeons from high volume centres in Delhi or Chennai. In such circumstances, Shalby’s initiative is a blessing for liver patients in and around Gujarat”.
Earlier, patients who needed a liver transplant had to travel to Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai for the same. Also, many less enterprising patients died because of the lack of adequate liver transplant services in the state. To fill this gap in healthcare delivery, Shalby Hospitals decided to develop a liver transplant program at the SG Road facility in Ahmedabad, and they plan to eventually develop such programs at other Shalby Hospital branches too, including one to be launched in the immediate future in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Talking about what leads to the need for liver transplant Dr. Vinay Kumaran, MBBS and MS (Surgery), Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi stated, “Alcohol consumption is just one of the reasons that can lead to liver damage. Hepatitis B and C too can cause liver cirrhosis as well as liver cancer. In fact, the most common cause of chronic liver disease now is NASH (Non-Alcoholic-Steato-Hepatitis). Moreover, a fatty liver can develop due to poorly controlled diabetes, being overweight, taking an unhealthy diet with too much of carbohydrate (in other words a typical Gujarati diet) and not getting enough exercise. If the fatty liver is not detected and treated, the liver disease progresses to cirrhosis. And there is an increased risk of liver cancer even before cirrhosis develops”.
Two successful cases of liver transplant at the Shalby Liver Disease & Transplantation centre:
A liver cirrhosis patient in his 50s with no suitable donor in his family was on the waiting list for a liver transplant. With swelling of feet, fluid collecting in his abdomen, kidney function worsening because of the medicines being given to control the fluid in the abdomen, and diabetes, the patient needed immediate help. The donor, a brain-dead octogenarian who had undergone a massive stroke because of blockage of major arteries to the brain, came to his rescue. With the gracious gesture of the donor’s family to donate his organs for transplant and permission from Dr M M Prabhakar, the state transplant authority, to procure the liver at Shalby Surat and bring it to Shalby Ahmedabad for transplant, the donor team drove to Surat and operated on the donor to remove the liver. Since the liver cannot be kept outside the body for long, the Gujarat Police was requested to provide a ‘Green Corridor’ to transport it quickly to Ahmedabad. The transplant was successful and the patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital.
While this is the oldest donor liver to be successfully transplanted in Gujarat, the world record for the oldest liver to be successfully transplant is that of a 93 year old for a donor in Italy.
In another case of living donor liver transplant, Mr Kalyansinh from Udaipur who is now fit and ready to be discharged from the hospital, was suffering from end stage cirrhosis of the liver. In his late 40s, the patient had collection of fluid in his liver which had to be drained periodically. After being counselled about living donation, his son volunteered to donate a part of his liver. Since medical tests showed that he would be a suitable donor, permission was obtained from the transplant authorisation committee. While transplant was successfully carried out on 28th June 2018, the donor has already been discharged.