Chennai’s Centre for Liver Diseases in Children

by Rathi Manohar on Jan 31 2011 6:24 AM

Chennai’s Centre for Liver Diseases in Children
A Centre for Pediatric Liver Diseases and Transplantation is a planned project of the Global Hospitals in Chennai.
Global Hospitals chairman and managing director K.Ravindranath talked, at a press conference, of the comprehensive, dedicated centre for pediatric liver diseases and transplantation.

This centre, run by specialists with experience in performing a number of pediatric liver transplants, and supported by a complement of pediatricians, will offer a complete set of treatments for children with simple to complex liver disease.

The Centre will address the alarming increase in liver diseases among children. Lifestyle changes are influencing the diet and nutrition of people today, and children are very susceptible to the worldwide fad of eating junk food. This could lead to childhood obesity and later on to fatty liver diseases.

However, doctors warn, that congenital defects are the leading causes of pediatric liver diseases in India. They urge for more awareness among parents and pediatricians of symptoms within the crucial first two weeks. If it is not addressed within this time period, it might necessitate a transplant.

At the press conference,  Ramesh Kancharla, consultant pediatric hepatologist,  Global Hospitals and Health urged pediatricians to check for vital signs such as normal stools, weight gain, abnormal hardness of the liver, and in some congenital conditions, abnormal facial features, if jaundice continues even after two weeks, in a new-born. The causes could range from metabolic diseases of the liver, Wilson’s disease and the more common biliary atresia.

In this condition, where the bile duct is either malformed or blocked, a corrective surgery can be performed within eight weeks and this increases the chances of an improved quality of life for the child,  Mohammed Rela, director – hepato biliary and liver transplantation, Global Hospitals, said.

Dr Naresh P Shanmugam, pediatric hepatologist and gastroenterologist, Global Hospitals, talked about how two to five per cent of children, three out of 1,000 children in India suffer from liver diseases.