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Rare liver transplant saves 13-month-old baby’s life
August 28th 2019

Rare liver transplant saves 13-month-old baby’s life

KochiIn a liver transplant surgery preceded with many first-of-its-kind innovative procedures in the state and probably in the country, VPS Lakeshore Hospital has saved the life of a 13-month-old baby named Hana Fathima, daughter of Mohammed Jabir and Ameera, Kanjirappilakkal, Ottappalam. Little Hana was suffering from a congenital liver disease called biliary atresia since her birth and was being managed at another hospital where she had had two surgeries in an attempt to cure the disease. Her parents took her to VPS Lakeshore in June 2019 with a failing liver and severe blood stream infection which had made her abdomen to fill up with water and had caused deep jaundice. The team of doctors evaluated her and decided that liver transplantation was the only possible treatment option for her. However there was a major hurdle in doing a liver transplant for her, in addition to her failing liver, her portal vein (the main blood vessel of the liver) was also undeveloped and blood flow from the portal vein is a necessity for a liver transplant surgery to be successful.

The doctors at VPS Lakeshore explored various options to restore the portal blood flow during surgery, and decided that putting a stent into the child’s portal vein would do the job. However, this too was challenging for two reasons: firstly because portal vein stents for children were not available and secondly there was no route available in the child to put a stent into her portal vein. Doctor Abhishek Yadav and his team of surgeons then employed an innovative technique and used the umbilical vein (which is a congenital blood vessel) of the donors liver to introduce a carotid artery (neck artery) stent of an adult size into the child’s portal vein. This innovative technique of restoring blood flow in liver transplantation was successfully performed for the first time in the state of Kerala. The liver transplant was successfully performed last month and the child is now being discharged with a new liver and a new life! The team of doctors involved in the care of the baby included Dr. Abhishek Yadav, Director - Comprehensive Liver Care Institute at VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Dr. Maya Peethambaran, hepatologist, Dr. Mohan Mathew and team of anaesthesia and critical care, Dr. Babu and team of from the paediatrics department, Dr. Rajesh Antony of the department of interventional radiology, along with a team of over 50 doctors, nurses and other staff. The surgery was funded by the crowd-funding initiatives led by Firoz Kunnamparambil, social worker based in Palakkad.