Two patients suffering from end stage liver disease at Research and Referral Hospital have been given a new lease of life after Army doctors carried out an "in situ" split liver transplant surgery, the first ever in India.
The novel technique of "in situ" splitting of the liver involves dividing the donor liver during retrieval into two parts., so that two patients can be benefited from one donor organ.
On August 27, the wife of a serving army major was battling for her life in the ICU of the Army Hospital. Despite all possible medical efforts, she was declared brain dead and her husband desired that her wish of organ donation be fulfilled.
The surgery resulted in two liver grafts. The smaller graft was transplanted into a 14 month-old baby suffering from Biliary Atresia and the larger right part was transplanted into a 26-year-old soldier with cryptogenic cirrhosis. Both patients are doing well post-operatively.
This unique surgical feat was undertaken by a team of 20 doctors and paramedical staff and took 18 hours to complete.
Incidentally, the 14-month-old boy was conceived by in vitro-fertilisation technique and is amongst the youngest liver transplant recipients in the country.
As his parents were unsuitable as living donors, an "in situ" liver split from a compatible brain dead donor offered the only chance for his survival as he was born with congenital absence of bile duets causing deepening jaundice since birth.
The kidneys and coronus from the donor were also harvested and transplanted, one kidney has been taken to Command Hospital, Lucknow.
The liver transplant team at Army Hospital (R and R) is trained in adult as well as paediatric liver transplantation and has performed 17 liver transplants since the inception of the programme in March 2007.