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Saturday, November 22, 2008

High success rate for liver transplants at Delhi's Apollo

New Delhi: She came to Delhi from a Middle Eastern country with a rare disease and little hope of surviving. Three weeks later, this three-year-old girl left India with new hopes in her eyes, which had dramatically turned white from the deep yellow she was born with, fully cured and assured of living a normal life.

The girl, whose identity is being held back on family request, was born with a liver disorder leading to an enzyme deficiency.

According to Dr Anupam Sibal, medical director of Delhi's Apollo Hospital, the crigler najjar syndrome is found only in one child out of 0.162 million and if left untreated can even lead to death.

"She was in a very serious condition when she came to us," said Dr Sibal.

As it turned out, the problem was genetic. Three cousins from her mother's side had already died from this disease.

The only treatment in this case is a liver transplant. Her father was a willing donor since under the law only a family member can be a donor in cases of liver transplant.

Two teams of doctors, led by Dr Subhash Gupta carried out a difficult operation lasting over 12 hours to ensure this child could lead a normal life.

Delhi's Apollo Hospital has emerged as one of the most successful centres for liver transplant operations due to its high success rate which stands at 90 per cent and 100 per cent in cases of transplants done on children as well as being the most cost effective.

Compared to UK where a similar operation costs $150,000 (Dh551,000) and in US where it costs $300,000, the family had to pay the hospital less than $50,000. Apollo has undertaken 120 such operations in the past 18 months including 13 children, who have all returned home fully recovered.

"All liver transplant surgeries are rare considering there are just about 30-40 centres across the world which do about 100 transplants each every year," said Dr Gupta.

He took out 20 per cent of of her father's liver, although in some cases up to 60 per cent liver is taken out from the donor's body. Donor's liver grows back to its normal size within two weeks. The donor's liver was attached to the child's liver and all the tiny vessels were joined under a microscope, said D Gupta, adding that a few years ago such an operation was unimaginable.

Apollo Hospital has become as the most chosen for all liver transplants and at present five patients from the Middle East, including one from Dubai, are undergoing treatment here.

"She was unable to walk when she came to us. She had deep yellow eyes due to liver malfunction. By the time she left, she was able to walk and her parents had never seen her like before", Dr Sibal said.
Via: http://www.gulfnews.com/world/India

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