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Saturday, April 19, 2008

11-month-old Chennai boy gets new liver

17 Apr 2008, 0224 hrs IST

NEW DELHI: Chennai’s Siddharth has become the country’s youngest patient to successfully undergo a complete liver transplant.

Doctors at Delhi’s Sir Gangaram Hospital, who conducted the operation on 11-month-old Siddharth, said he beat the earlier record held by Pakistani national Shreyar. Shreyar was one year old when he underwent the transplant in 2006 in the same hospital.

While Shreyar received a portion of his grandmother’s liver, Siddharth’s saviour was his aunt, Saroja, who donated the left lateral part of her liver.

Siddharth was born with a rare condition called biliary atresia, in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. Bile is trapped within the liver cells, rapidly causing cirrhosis. If not corrected early, the condition results in liver failure and death.

Siddharth was diagnosed with the condition when he was five months old. According to doctors, he suffered from jaundice, a typical manifestation of biliary atresia, when he was just two days old. But doctors in Chennai failed to diagnose it.

After five months, when Siddharth’s jaundice level continued to be high, doctors decided to create an open duct, so that the bile could drain from the liver. During the operation, doctors found that his only hope for survival was a transplant.

Baby could hardly breathe when he was brought in

NEW DELHI: Chennai baby Siddharth who underwent a liver transplant at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi was born wih a rare medical condition.

Dr Neelam Mohan, consultant paediatric hepatologist and physician in charge of paediatric liver transplantation at SRGH, told The Times of India that Siddharth was brought to the hospital on January 23 with severe liver dysfunction.

"He had high jaundice, causing his abdomen to become abnormally big. He could hardly breathe with a severe chest infection like hyper-reactive airway disease, blood infection and pneumonia. He was also suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. For over two weeks, he was on oxygen and high level of intensive medical and nutritional care was administered. We kept him in the ICU to stabilize his condition and prepare him for the transplant," Dr Mohan said.

The transplant was successfully conducted on February 15 by a team of surgeons including Dr A S Soin, Dr Vinay Kumaran and Dr Rahul Kakodkar.

Dr Soin said: "The transplant operation was challenging and complicated. The main blood supply, the portal vein in the child’s liver, was irreparably blocked due to the late stage of his disease. A graft was then used between the donor’s liver and the patient’s portal vein. Siddharth was discharged after three weeks." tnn

Speaking about why Siddharth’s aunt donated the liver and not his parents, Dr Mohan said: "Siddharth’s mother, Suganthee, had a fatty liver and her blood group was 'O’ while we needed a liver with blood group 'A’. Siddharth’s father, A Saravanan, had high cholesterol and also had fatty liver. His aunt Saroja’s liver was found to be healthy and her blood group also matched. She was extremely keen to donate."

According to Dr B K Rao, chairman of Gangaram hospital, biliary atresia cannot be treated with medication. "Biliary Atresia with cirrhosis and end stage liver disease results in 100% mortality. If detected early - six to eight weeks from birth - the corrective surgery called Kasai can cure. In India, Biliary Atresia is rare. One in every 9,000 children born suffer from it."."

Siddharth’s mother Suganthee told TOI: "He was very ill before the surgery. For days together, he would just cry. He couldn’t move because of his enlarged stomach. Now, he is extremely naughty and loves playing with his elder brother. He is constantly trying to walk and smiles all the time."

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