According to Dr. Manish C. Varma, Senior Consultant and the Chief transplant surgeon, who led the transplantation surgery, a 4-year old child named Salama was suffering from a rare metabolic disorder Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, where the liver lacks enzymes required for processing proteins. So the child was deprived of living a normal life of her age and was not allowed to eat chocolates and drink milk. She would become unconscious every time she consumed proteins in her diet.

After consulting various doctors, she was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in July and was advised a liver transplantation surgery to lead a normal life. Since there were no suitable donors in their family, the child was put on a waiting list as there were not suitable donors available. However, the team of Apollo doctors were also considering to transplant a split liver extracted from a brain dead person, but fortunately the child could get the liver of a brain dead child made available through Jeevandaan scheme of the state government.

Upon finalizing that the available liver was an appropriate match, the team of doctors at Apollo carried out the liver transplant surgery successfully and the child could recover in just 15 days after the operation. Speaking about the operation, Dr. AnuragShrimal, Liver transplant surgeon, said, “Finding appropriate size organs for small babies is an onerous task and hence closing the abdomen after fitting the new liver in is always a challenge. We have used a new technique, composite graft, wherein the closure became very easy.”

Paediatric liver transplantation requires advanced infrastructure and well qualified staff who are specialised for dealing with critical paediatric patients. Apart from a meticulous surgery, the biggest challenge is the intensive care in the post-operative period. The margin of error in paediatric liver transplant patients is extremely narrow and the management has to be coordinated like clockwork.

The liver transplant programme at Apollo Heath City, Hyderabad has a success rate of over 97 per cent, which besides being the best in India, is also one of the best in the world.

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