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Chennai Boy Undergoes First of Its Kind Living Donor Liver Transplant in India for Rare Metabolic Disease

Chennai Boy Undergoes First of Its Kind Living Donor Liver Transplant in India for Rare Metabolic Disease

A 16 years old boy from Chennai who was experiencing decompensated chronic liver disease due to ‘Cholesteryl ester storage disease’, has gone through successful liver transplantation at Gleneagles Global Health City. 

Across the globe, only 17 such cases have been recorded and this is the first such case in India. This is one amongst the rare genetic liver diseases that affect the liver at childhood and further leads to liver failure as the child grows older. 

It is caused by a change in the LIPA gene. As the position was getting critical, the boy’s mother chose to provide the right lobe of her liver to save her son’s life. The team of 10 experts spearheaded by Dr Joy Varghese, Dr Rajanikanth Patcha, Dr Selvakumar Malleeswaran & Dr Perumal Karnan took 8 hours to perform the intricate surgery amid COVID-19 pandemic and returned the boy back to life.

The boy named Dilli Ganesh was diagnosed with Jaundice at the age of 2. He felt a complete evaluation at the Institute of Child Health, Egmore, Chennai. Despite all supportive medications, he experienced persistent jaundice which progressively built over time. 

In the month of July 2020, he was transferred to Gleneagles Global Health City in a critical condition. He performed with a swollen leg, abdomen distension (swelling of the abdomen) which was a definite sign of Liver cirrhosis. The boy was on his feet from 3 rd day post-liver transplant and continued his normal diet from the 5th day onwards. On the 14th day from the date of surgery, the boy was released from the hospital.

Dr Joy Varghese, Director -Hepatology & Transplant Hepatology, Gleneagles Global Health City says “When the boy came to our hospital for medication, he was suffering from distension (swelling) of the abdomen. Before his visit here, he had gone through a scheme to drain the fluid stored in the abdomen. Approximately 4.litresrs of fluid were extracted from the abdomen and later upon testing of fluid, it was found to be infectious (spontaneous bacterial peritonitis). 

This condition is greatly critical and the distinction between life and death is a matter of short time. Recognizing the seriousness of this disease our team of expert doctors went on a war footing during the pandemic to save his life”. “It was the rarest case in India to undergo successful liver transplant for this type of metabolic disorder. 

Post-surgery the boy will be normal like any other child. Mother gave the right lobe of her liver to save her son. stated Dr Rajanikanth Patcha - Head of Liver Transplant Surgery, Gleneagles Global Health City.

“Because of the current COVID scenario, a separate team of doctors & nurses served in dedicated liver transplantation OT and ICU to assure patient and donor safety”, added Dr Selvakumar Malleeswaran, Head of Liver ICU – Gleneagles Global Health City.

“Despite his liver-related health issues, the boy appeared successful in his board exams. Having experienced a successful liver transplant, we are sure that the boy will come through with flying colours, breaking the general opinion that children who undergo liver transplant may find it difficult to cope with their peers” quoted Dr Perumal Karnan, Head of Department – Paediatrics, Gleneagles Global Health City.

“At GGHC, we always have been a strong advocate of maintaining a high index of suspicion towards less common/rare diseases that may impact the survival and quality of life of our patients. We are forming an edge quaternary healthcare facility where we concentrate on maintaining and surpassing International standards of care for the best possible outcome for our patients. I salute the team of doctors and nurses for giving a lease of life to this exceptionally courageous young man”, said Dr Alok Khullar, CEO – Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai.