Doctors at Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital successfully split and transplanted the liver of a 32-year-old brain dead person in two adult patients. This is a feat rarely achieved, doctors said. Earlier, such a transplant used to be done by giving one half of the liver to an adult and the other to a child.
In this case, the donor, who had a brain hemorrhage in May, was declared brain dead at Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo hospital following which his parents were requested to donate the organs of the patient.
Doctors split the patient's liver and gave one lobe to a 29-year-old man from Jalandhar, who suffered from chronic alcoholic liver failure and had been on the transplant list for five months.
The 29-year-old would not have survived if he hadn't been operated upon for another two-three months, doctors said.
The other half of the liver went to a 42-year-old woman, a Delhi resident, who had chronic liver failure and was on the transplant list for a year.
Calling the transplant the first of its kind in the national capital, Subash Gupta, chief liver surgeon at Indraprastha hospital, said the two parts of a liver are not equal. Surgeons use the right half for an adult patient and the other half for a small child.
"Usually the left lobe of the liver is smaller and may not be useful in transplanting it into an adult. But in this case the liver was split into two halves before taking it out," he said.
After the surgery, which was performed on June 3, both the patients were discharged within two weeks
"Cadaveric organs continue to be in short supply and therefore every effort must be made to use these donated organs in as many needy recipients as possible. Splitting the liver into two adults may address the perennial shortage of organs in India," said Gupta.