Nidish Viral Vyas, was seven-and-a-half-month-old, when he was detected with a genetic liver condition called biliary atresia. The condition generally is seen as newborn defect. In which, the bile duct in the liver is abnormally narrow, blocked or absent.
“Most of the times, in such cases, the gene can be responsible. However, the kid and the father both are doing fine now,” said Dr Neerav Goyal, a part of the team that conducted the 11-hour-surgery on Nidish.
Likewise, Nidish’s liver had completely failed, and the doctors were left with the option of liver transplant. “Our paediatrician, Dr Jitesh Raval, suggested a doctor from the Apollo Hospital in Delhi, where the operation was conducted. On conducting my tests, we found out that I was eligible to be the donor for my son but the only problem was, that I was a little over-weight,” said Viral Vyas.
Then, in the month of May, Vyas followed a strict exercise and diet regime, and lost about 7 kgs. This enabled him to successfully donate a part of his liver to his son. “The operation was conducted in Apollo Hospital, in Delhi, on June 14th. Nidish was severely underweight weighing merely 4kg. Hence, he was kept in the hospital for 4 to 6 days. Now, he is back home and doing absolutely fine,” added Vyas.
Unlike Nidish, however, paediatric liver transplants are not very common in the country. “Firstly, the condition is pretty uncommon. So the ones requiring the transplant are also, naturally not many. Roughly, in the country out of 15,000 patients, 150 cases would be paediatric cases,” said Dr Somnath Chattopadhyay, liver transplant surgeon at Jupiter Hospital, Thane.
He further added, “The lack of specialised centres in the country could also be a reason. There are only few specialized centres in the country that perform paediatric liver transplants.”
Moreover, some doctors also say that these transplants are a little complicated than compared to the transplants done for the adults. “The portal veins for a new-born or child is rather small, and that makes the transplant a complicated one. Also, post- surgery immense care must be taken,” advised Dr Ravi Mohanka, liver transplant surgeon at Global Hospital and visiting liver transplant surgeon at KEM Hospital, Mumbai.