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Friday, April 18, 2008

Bloodless surgery on baby

Chennai, April 17: In what is clearly a first for India, doctors from the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi have performed a successful liver transplant on a 11-month-old Chennai boy Siddharth, after he was diagnosed with a rare condition called Biliary Atresia.

The child developed jaundice at just two days of age but it was brushed off as a normal condition. When the doctors at Chennai realised that his liver lacked the bile ducts, without which the bile gets trapped within the liver cells, causing damage and scarring, resulting in liver failure and ultimately death, they attempted a corrective surgery when Siddharth was five months old.

With no improvement and the child actually deteriorating, the parents Suganthee and Saravanan undertook a long search for a suitable hospital for the transplant and narrowed down on Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where 10 to 12 liver transplants are performed every month, with a success rate of 100% among children.

Siddharth’s aunt Saroja donated 20 per cent of her liver to save the boy, since a cadaver donor was not available. At a press conference held at Chennai on Thursday, Dr.A.S.Soin, who led the team of surgeons through this challenging transplant explained, ‘‘We had to perform a bloodless surgery, since the baby could not tolerate even a small blood loss. His blood vessels were so minute that we had to do the surgery under the microscope.’’

‘‘The post operative period was smooth, and the problems of infection and rejection of the new liver were tackled effectively. Baby Siddharth was discharged 3 weeks after the life-saving transplant," Dr Neelam Mohan, the hospital’s chief liver physician said, cradling the grinning baby Siddharth in her arms.

The same team of doctors had also performed last year a transplant on eight-year-old Arif Mishaal, who had to be airlifted to Delhi from Chennai by a special team of doctors after his condition turned critical after an attack of jaundice that progressed to terminal liver failure within two weeks. Arif received 30 per cent of his mother’s liver but developed some post-operative complications and though recovered well, must depend on immunosuppressive drugs all his life.

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