9-month-old baby undergoes successful liver transplant at KIMS Hospital

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365telugu.com online news,Hyderabad,18th April 2022: Biliary Atresia, a common liver disease in babies, In this disease, the main bile duct is not formed. This is a problem by birth. One in every 20,000 children in India suffer from Biliary Atresia. If diagnosed early, they undergo Portoentero stomy or Kasai procedure (named after the surgeon). However, if it is diagnosed late (after 3 months), the liver develops secondary biliary cirrhosis and the Kasai procedure will not be helpful. Even after an early procedure, some children need liver transplantation due to failure of the procedure, recurrent cholangitis or failure to thrive.

Biliary atresia compri ses 50% of all transplants in children. The 19th of April is observed as International Liver Day to raise awareness about liver health. On this occasion, Dr Ravichand Siddachari, Head, Department of Liver Transplant, explained the recent liver transplant surgery performed on a 9-month-old baby weighing 6.8 Kgs,at KIMS Hospital, Secunderabad.

"Poor parents from Thirumalagiri village, Mahabubnagar district came to the hospital two months ago. At that time, their baby was 7 months old. The baby was first having symptoms of jaundice within a month of her birth and was seen by local doctors. She was referred to Government hospital in Hyderabad where she underwent surgery (Portoenterostomy). However she continued to have jaundice and also developed symptoms of liver failure such as ascites and was passing blood in the motion.

Patient was referred to KIMS hospital for further management. She was evaluated further and planned for liver transplant. The baby's mother came forward to donate a part of her liver. Baby underwent liver transplant successfully and discharged. These surgeries usually cost around Rs 15-20 lakhs. But, considering the poverty of the parents, the management of KIMS hospitals  subsidised the treatment cost. Now the baby is fully recovered and is in sound health.

On a Philippino baby in the past

A baby from the Philippines also faced the same problem in 2020. Her parents brought her to KIMS hospitals. Her father donated part of his liver, and we have transplanted it to her. The baby is  completely recovered and flew back to their homeland.

Transplantation in small children is complex due to the small vessels and ducts which need microscopic reconstruction. Also the size mismatch makes the surgery much more difficult. The donor is usually mother or father. Although we take just about 20-25% of the liver from the donor, still the size is bigger for the small babies who have a small abdominal cavity.

The liver performs over 500 vital functions and is also called as the factory of the body. It is crucial for metabolism, it produces proteins and clotting factors, stores vitamins and minerals, removes waste products from the blood stream. Therefore liver disease should not be taken lightly. It is better to consult expert doctors (hepatologists, liver surgeons) immediately, and undergo treatment. Some children may also develop Liver Cancer which is called Hepatoblastoma. A liver transplant is needed in such conditions too. We do 6-10 liver transplants in a month on an average at KIMS hospitals (Both adults and children) , said Dr Ravichand Siddachari. Senior consultant Dr Srinivas Prabhu, Dr KN Paramesh, and consultant paediatrician Dr Nandakishore were involved in the management.