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Two Sri Lankan families swap livers for transplant

In a unique life saving deal, two Sri Lankan families swapped the livers of two of their members at Global Hospitals, Chennai for transplantation, officials said on Tuesday.

Dr K Ravindranath, chairman and managing director of Global Hospitals, said the two families exchanged livers under the paired donation programme.

It was the country’s first living donor simultaneous liver swap transplantation surgery on adults.

The liver transplantation was necessary as the livers of the donors were incompatible with other members of their families, Dr K Ravindranath added.

The transplantation process involved four simultaneous surgeries on two donors and two recipients affected with end stage liver disease.

The nonstop 16-hour operation was performed in four operation theatres on May 2 by Dr Mohamed Rela, director of the Liver Transplantation Programme at Global Hospitals, and his team.

Addressing reporters through video conferencing from Global Hospitals, Hyderabad, Dr Mohamed Rela said the two families hailed from Kandy in Sri Lanka.

Mohamad Nazeem, 50, was diagnosed with cirrhosis of liver and was referred to Global Hospitals. His family members were willing to donate part of their livers but unfortunately they were either medically not suitable or their blood group did not match that of the patient.

Similarly, Mohammed Nazir, 48, too was referred to Global Hospitals with chronic liver disease. Nazir’s son came forward to donate a part of his liver to his father, but their blood groups did not match.

With both the families facing a similar problem, Dr Mohamed Rela suggested a swap liver transplantation.

Interestingly, the organ suitability between these families’ donors and recipients was found to be appropriate.

On May 2, Mohamad Nazeem’s wife Nazeen Fathima donated part of her liver to Mohammed Nazir. In turn, Mohamad Nazeem got liver from Mohammed Nazir’s son Mohamed Zamrin.

The donors and recipients recovered quickly, Dr Mohamed Rela said. The donors were discharged in about a week and the recipients in two to three weeks.

“The burden of liver disease in the country and of patients needing liver transplantation is very high. On the other hand, there is a huge shortage of organs. In such situations, it becomes important to think of innovative ways to optimise the scarce resource of living donors,” Dr Mohamed Rela said. [Source: IANS]

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