First-of-its-kind surgery in India gives a new lease of life to Mumbai resident

58-year-old Manju Moradia undergoes liver transplant along with obesity surgery, says surgery has given her a new life

Obesity surgery can be life-saving and 58-year-old Vile Parle, Mumbai, resident Manju Moradia is a testimony for the same.

Three months ago, at 99kg, Moradia’s wished to lose weight to cure her back pain and uncontrolled diabetes as obesity had already damaged the liver. Moradia approached the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in July with multiple health problems caused by her obesity.

“Three months back, she had approached our spine surgeon for her back pain. She suffered a fracture, but during the diagnostic investigations, it was revealed that the function of her liver was deteriorating,” said Dr Vinay Kumaran, head of the department, liver transplant and Hepato-Biliary Surgery.

Representational pic
Representational pic

He said before they could think a treatment course for her deteriorating liver condition and attend to her back pain, she had a liver failure. “She needed a liver transplant at the earliest, but her being obese made us rethink. She was partly bedridden and that led to further complications,” said Kumaran.

Moradia’s obesity was a threat to a newly transplanted liver and therefore, obesity surgery, along with liver transplant, was only option. “Doing just a liver transplant was not an option as the new liver, too, will become fatty and fail the purpose of the surgery. We didn’t want to conduct the obesity surgery first as her liver condition was poor. Also, doing obesity surgery post liver surgery was difficult. Therefore, we decided to do them together,” said Kumaran. He further said medical literature shows weight-loss (bariatric) surgery may prevent recurrent obesity and as well as failure of the newly transplanted liver.

In a ten-hour-long marathon surgery, doctors transplanted a part of Moradia’s daughter’s liver. “We started with liver transplant surgery and then did a type of weight-loss surgery (sleeve gastrectomy),” said Kumaran.

Three months after the surgery, Dr Jaydeep Palep, bariatric surgeon who was co-operating with Kumaran, said it is happy to see her walking. “Before the surgery, I saw her coming to the hospital in a wheelchair. Now she is not only walking, but off all medications. Her Body Mass Index too is near normal,” said Palep.

“Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic was the first to do the combined surgery. In India, we are the first to do the obesity and liver transplant together. We are glad that Moradia is now weighs 75 kilos. Her blood sugar levels too are in control,” said Kumaran. The KDAH team of doctors will now be presenting the case in the medical journals and conferences.  “Obesity surgery gave me a second life,” said Moradia.