In a milestone achievement, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, the advanced multi-specialty tertiary care centre, today announced on performing successful liver transplant on a 4-month old infant from Tanzania, the youngest ever recipient in Western India. The life-saving procedure marks a breakthrough in Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai’s Liver Transplant program, which has to date seen over 30 liver transplants being performed successfully since its launch. The infant was suffering from a congenital condition of the liver, ‘Biliary Atresia’ which had blocked the bile flow from the liver causing irreversible damage and scarring of the liver cells. The living-donor transplant came from the infant’s father who donated a portion of his healthy liver to his child.
Dr. Darius F. Mirza, Head, HPB & Multi-Organ Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai said, “A rare condition, Biliary Atresia can be surgically corrected with 40% success if diagnosed early. However, in this case the problem was only noticed by the family when the infant’s grandmother who is a nurse came to see him and noticed the hard liver and white stools. Till then, he was being treated for jaundice by the local doctors. He was referred to Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai where after a complete evaluation, the condition was diagnosed. The delay in detection of the condition had led to extensive damage to the infant’s liver with the development of life threatening liver failure. It was too late for surgical correction of the biliary atresia, and it was decided to go in for a life-saving liver transplant.”
The infant was found fit for the liver transplant procedure and the process to identify a donor was started. Though a match, the infant’s mother was found not physically fit to donate. Fortunately, the infant’s father was found to be a suitable match. The parents were counseled on the transplant procedure and the medication and management that would be required post the transplant surgery. A multi-specialty team that consisted of transplant surgeons, pediatricians and dieticians charted out a detailed plan to prepare the infant for the transplant.
The life-saving transplant was performed on June 30, 2018 by the Liver Transplant team headed by Dr. Darius F. Mirza, Dr Vikram Raut, Dr Swapnil Sharma and supported by team of specialists. A portion of the father’s liver was removed and transplanted into the infant. The infant has shown a good recovery without any complications. He was kept under observation in the ICU for two weeks post the surgery and has since been transferred to a patient room. He is scheduled to be discharged in a month. The father made an uneventful recovery. As the human liver regenerates and returns to its normal size shortly after surgical removal of part of the organ, the father should regain normal size and function in a short time.
According to Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Apollo Hospitals Delhi, “The Apollo Liver Transplant program performed India’s first successful liver transplant in 1998. Since then, more than 3000 liver transplants have been performed of which more than 270 have been in children. We are privileged to have earned the trust of not just patients from different parts of India but more than 20 countries,” he added.
Dr. Narendra Trivedi, CEO, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, “At Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, we have performed 11 pediatric liver transplants since we began the transplant program. We are proud to be the first and one of the few hospitals in Western India and surrounding areas to offer this life saving procedure for very small children. Today, we are serving not just patients from different parts of India but from across the globe.”
The patient’s parents conveyed their thanks and the father, Elirabi E. Lyimo said, “We are glad that our baby’s condition was treated successfully by the specialized team of doctors at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai. We appreciate their dedication in working towards the complete recovery of our son. The transplant has given him the chance to lead a normal life.”