Smoothest liver transplant ever done at KEM, claim doctors

Five months after being on the waiting list for a cadaver liver, a Kanpur native got a liver transplant at KEM hospital on Thursday. This is the third cadaver liver transplant done at the hospital after almost one and half year.

“He had suffered end-stage liver disease because of non-alcoholic fatty liver. He has been staying with his relatives in Airoli after we put him on waiting list him for cadaver liver. Luckily, we go a suitable donor,” said Dr Chetan Kantharia, liver transplant surgeon, KEM hospital.

The surgery, which started at 3am, went on for nine hours without any blood loss.

“It was one of the smoothest liver transplant done at KEM hospital. Normally, a liver transplant surgery requires 4 to 10 units of blood. In this case, we didn’t need any,” said Kantharia.

The donor, who suffered brain haemorrhage was admitted in a nursing home at Goregaon and was shifted to KEM hospital on Saturday. Confirmatory tests to declare the patient brain dead were done late last night.

In 2010, KEM hospital started liver transplant program. However, the hospital had to stop the program after both recipient and donor died in November 2010. The hospital then decided to start with cadaver liver transplant but they managed to do one in 2014.

“The liver transplant program in KEM hospital is to make this surgery affordable to common man. We plan to start live liver transplant surgery after we do at least 9 cadaver liver transplant,” said Kantharia.

Graph illustration: Jyotsna Salunke
Graph illustration: Jyotsna Salunke

KEM Hospital has subsidised the cost to about Rs 5 lakh. The hospital has appointed liver transplant surgeons and hepatologists as consultants. “They will help us strengthen the liver transplant program so that more poor patients get benefited,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM hospital.

KEM hospital’s liver transplant program has two state-of-art modular theatres and a fully equipped six-bed intensive care unit with separate cubicles for each patient. The theatres have been designed on the lines of hospitals in western countries and the ward has boast a class-I laminar air flow which ensures high quality clean air to avoid infections in the patients.

The hospital has also formed ‘WhatsApp detection programme’ to identify brain dead patients in the hospital.