Son saves father’s life in a rare liver transplant surgery- Plasmapheresis. David Marshall, a 54 year old gentleman suffered from serious Liver problems and came to Kumaran Hospitals, Chennai where he was diagnosed with Liver Failure and Liver Cancer. The problem was very serious and it was clearly evident that only a Liver Transplant could save his life.
Though Tamilnadu is the pioneer in organ transplantation and the state tops the table of successful liver transplantations performed in India, the numbers are still far away from adequate. Listing the recipient’s name in the State Organ Registry and waiting for it could take a very long time and many patients don’t survive this long and painful wait for a matching organ from an unknown brain-dead patient.
One major solution to this problem is harvesting a part of the liver from a Living Related Donor that can be transplanted to the ailing patient. These kind of surgeries require high level of expertise and skill. However most often than not we find ourselves in the situation where there is no blood group match between the donor and the recipient. An ABO incompatible graft will be severely rejected by the recipient’s body and will lead to organ failure again.
Prof Mohamed Rela, World Renowned Liver Transplant Surgeon said “Since the patient was very ill, a unique solution was put forth in the case of David Marshall, where his son, whose blood group did not match his father’s, agreed to donate his liver. After a detailed team discussion in the best interest of the patient it was decided to go ahead with liver transplantation after ‘desensitisation’ of the recipient blood by removing antibodies that can cause severe rejection. This is called ABO incompatible liver transplantation, a lifesaving surgery.”
This is a unique procedure of its kind where the patient received special medication two weeks before the transplantation and a procedure called plasmapheresis to minimise the cells that produce specific antibodies and remove the existing antibodies. The health status of the patient was monitored closely and the transplantation was carried out successfully in Kumaran Hospitals, Kilpauk, Chennai by the team lead by Prof Mohamed Rela from Dr Rela Institute, Chromepet, Chennai. After the successful transplant surgery, the patient recovered well in the ICU and was shifted to the regular ward from where he was discharged after complete recovery.
Commenting on the successful transplant surgery, Prof Mohamed Rela, says “These types of surgeries should be performed in higher numbers since the requirement for donated solid organs outweigh the availability of potential donors by a very large margin in our country. Most often the patient finds himself in a predicament of an unmatched living related donor, and the ABO incompatible transplantation has presented itself as a welcome solution to this very common problem”. Prof Mohamed Rela is a world authority in Liver Transplantation and has been instrumental behind the phenomenal success of solid organ transplantation in Tamilnadu in the last 10 years.
Vividly recalling his ordeal and recovery David Marshall says “I was pretty sure that my time has come when doctors broke the news of liver cancer and organ failure to me. Thanks to Prof. Rela and the doctors at Kumaran Hospitals, my son’s loving gift to me did not go waste and I’m here very much alive and healthy talking to you all”.