A seventeen-month-old baby girl from Raipur has become the youngest child to undergo a liver transplant at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Mumbai. Within 4 weeks of birth, Baby Ashvi’s parents started identifying symptoms in her, which included frequent fever, swollen abdomen and jaundice. She was later diagnosed with a complicated liver problem called Biliary atresia at her 2 months of age.
Biliary atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants, when the bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. This causes the bile to be trapped inside the liver, quickly causing damage and scarring of the liver cells (cirrhosis).
After medication and a surgery, doctors in her hometown suggested an urgent liver transplant, for which her family came to Mumbai. Dr. Saista Amin, Transplant Hepatologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, who guided the family through the transplant, said, “When she was brought to us she was suffering from jaundice and a swollen abdomen as all bile had accumulated in the liver, thereby endangering it. While our team started planning her transplant immediately, identifying a liver donor, getting her nutritionally fit and infection free; took us about 3 months”.
Her father was a perfect match for her and donated a part of his liver to save his baby in January 2017; making her the youngest child to have undergone a successful liver transplant in Western India.
Dr. Vinay Kumaran, who heads the liver transplant surgery team at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, said, “Performing a liver transplant at an age of 17months with a weight of 7 kgs, was a big challenge for the surgical team. Multiple teams from various departments of the hospital were involved during the surgery – including Paediatric Neurology, Paediatric Cardiology, Transplant intensivist and Neonatology experts. She then underwent a neuro-rehab programme that enabled a speedy recovery”.
Of the total number of transplants conducted at the comprehensive liver transplant centre at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, close to 10 per cent are paediatric cases – the youngest being a 2 and half year old liver transplant patient who was operated upon last year.