Double organ transplant nothing short of a history: doctor

Dr Vrishali Patil, the head of the team that performed simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant surgery in Pune last year, said organ donation has the power to transform lives and India needs to strengthen its organ donation program


Dr Vrishali Patil, the head of the team, said this procedure is path-breaking and history has been made. Speaking to My Medical Mantra, she said, “Meeting the patient, who has undergone pancreas and kindly transplant simultaneously, now gives me a true sense of fulfilment. Before the operation, he had suicidal thoughts but post operation, I am happy to see him rebuild his life.”

“My uncle had undergone a kidney transplant in 1982 when I was only a child. This was a big thing for me. He could live his life for more number of years than he would have lived if he would not have undergone transplant. That is when I realised the importance of medical science in improving quality of lives,” she reminisced.

The recipient, a Pune resident, underwent the procedure after family of a brain-dead patient agreed to donate both kidneys and pancreas. “Both his kidneys failed because of he suffers from Type 1 diabetes, leading to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. He had many diabetes-related complications like loss of vision and his blood vessels were getting affected. Pancreas and kidney transplant was the only solution. I remember before transplant, he had become so weak that he could not even come to the hospital. Now post the transplant he is positive and wants to rebuild his life,” said Dr Patil, an abdominal transplant and hepatic surgery expert.

Speaking about the organ transplant program in India, Dr Patil said insurance companies should revise their policies and should start funding organ transplants.

“The government has already made a positive move by expanding the definition of ‘near relatives’ for organ donation. We now require the assistance of insurance companies to help boost the organ donation programme in India. The government should now give permission to more hospitals for organ retrieval,” said Dr Patil.