A 30-year-old man underwent combined heart and liver transplant (CHLT) at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. Ponnar, of Tiruchengode in Namakkal district, who holds masters in Engineering and a gold medalist, developed swelling in his abdomen and suffered from shortness of breath.
He was brought to Apollo Hospitals in March with symptoms of liver and heart failure caused by high pressure in a vein connecting the heart to the liver. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis (liver disease) that was leading to liver failure and doctors planned a liver transplant.
‘The 30-year-old was suffering from end stage liver and heart disease. To prevent heavy blood loss and to cut short the transplant time, doctors combined the transplant.’
Later, Ponnar was also diagnosed with a failure of the right side of the heart to develop properly, which was the cause of the liver failure. Ponna's diagnoses forced him to undergo combined heart and liver transplant. It took six months to find an appropriate donor.
Dr Paul Ramesh, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals said, "The patient was suffering from end stage liver and heart disease. So we wanted to do combined surgery. Because, if the heart and liver surgery were done separately, the patient would suffer heavy blood loss and also we wanted to cut short the transplant time. The patient was put on heart - lung machine during the procedure and we also saved excess blood loss."
Ponnar waited from April to October for a suitable donor. He underwent the combined heart and liver transplant on October 14 and was discharged from the hospital on October 21. The doctors said, the patient can get back to normal life after some break.