First swap liver transplants performed successfully under TN CM Health Insurance Scheme

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Chennai, Jun 4 (PTI) Innovative swap liver transplants, said to be the first such procedure to be initiated in Tamil Nadu under the Chief Ministers Health Insurance Scheme, was successfully performed at a private hospital here.

It was performed in April amid the raging COVID pandemic, MGM Healthcare, a super-speciality hospital here, said on Friday.

'This is the first swap procedure to be initiated in Tamil Nadu under the Chief Minister Health Insurance Scheme, at the hospitals institute of liver transplant,' the hospital informed.

'A unique and secure transplant bio-bubble was implemented for the transplants and we successfully managed to vaccinate all our team members before that,' Dr Thiagarajan Srinivasan, Director, Institute of Liver Diseases, Transplant and HPB surgery, MGM Healthcare, said.

All the staff, patients, donors and their family members underwent COVID RT-PCR tests and tested negative for COVID-19 at frequent intervals in both pre-and post-surgery phase.

'We took extra precautions wherein all the patients and donors were asked to undergo chest CT scan apart from the regular COVID test to rule out COVID pneumonia and eliminate the risk of infection completely,' a release quoting him said.

Amid the pandemic, liver transplants are often hampered by limited availability of brain dead organ donors.

The alternative in medical science is harnessing the liver through the living donor liver transplantation in which a relative donates a part of his liver.

'But the compatibility is restricted by the availability of related living liver donors with matched blood groups and matched liver volume,' he said.

In order to overcome this issue, the donor pool can be expanded by paired exchange liver transplant (swap liver transplant).

'We observed in transplant cases, close to 25 per cent of the donors get rejected due to various reasons and swap transplants can help us in saving many lives otherwise limited by the availability of compatible organs,' he said.

Dr Karthik Mathivanan liver transplant surgeon, MGM Healthcare, said 'it takes 10-12 hours for one transplant and a successful swap demands a large and well-experienced team including senior liver transplant surgeons, anesthetists, transplant critical care experts and technicians to coordinate and perform four surgeries simultaneously.' Swap transplants will help in addressing the rising organ shortage issue in the country during the pandemic, he added.PTI JSP BN BALA BN BALA

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