40 docs complete 6 liver operations in 20 hours

Three children get a new lease on life after staff  complete six simultaneous liver transplants in Gurgaon hospital

The situation resembled a scene from famous TV drama series Grey's Anatomy where 40 doctors combine their medical genius to save the lives of three children. After toiling away for 20 laborious hours, they and 110 other medical and para-medical staff emerge from the six operation theatres victorious after the procedure was completed successfully.

Making history: Ansa, Anish and Tejasree after their complex liver
transplants with Dr A S Soin and Dr Neelam Mohan (in blue saree) in
Gurgaon yesterday. Doctors say this was the first time six simultaneous
liver transplant surgeries were carried out including a domino liver
transplant. pic/Rajeev Tyagi

But this was no rehearsed scene from a television drama but played out in real life when three children were operated upon simultaneously for the world's first chain liver transplant operation at Medanta Liver Institute in Gurgaon.  

Only a month ago, toddlers Tejasree, Ansa and Anish were complete strangers. But, their destiny was intertwined, as all three of them needed a liver transplant for them to survive their life-threatening complications.

However, none of the three could receive a transplant from their respective family members and that's when they were brought together.

Explaining the three patients' complications, a doctor from the institute said that 22-month-old Ansa and one-year-old Anish suffered from biliary atresia while three-year-old Tejasree suffered from a rare genetic condition called Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), owing to which she could not digest any amino acids.

Tejasree's father said that she could not even consume milk and had to only drink milk that their relative would send from the US that cost about Rs 50,000 a month.

Medanta Institute chairman Arvinder Singh Soin said, "Nowhere has anyone performed six simultaneous liver operations. This in itself is a record. All the six liver operations were linked to each other, which made it a Herculean, marathon task for us."

Unique procedure
Explaining the link and domino liver transplant, Neelam Mohan, chief paediatric hepatologist at Medanta Institute, said, "In swap or donor liver exchange Tejasree's father donated a portion of his liver to Ansa and saved her life. Ansa's father, Ajit Sajjad Mushi, donated a portion of his liver to Tejasree and gave her a new lease on life. The domino liver transplant happened in the case of Anish who did not have any suitable donor. After preliminary tests we realised that Tejashree's liver which was otherwise normal but not medically of any use to her could work wonders for Anish."

Parents of the three miracle patients are pleased at the success of the operation and say that the procedure was their last 'glimmer of hope' for their children.

The operation brought Tejasree's family from Gandhinagar in Gujarat and Ansa's family from Kashmir to Delhi. The surgery cost more than Rs 15 lakh for each child but the parents were satisfied.

"Before the surgery, Anish was admitted to the ICU four different times owing to heavy blood loss and even suffered a cardiac arrest. We were quite worried about the surgery but realised that this was the only way to help our child. Initially, we didn't know the other children and their families but now we are all one big family," said Ghaziabad resident Anuj Kakroo, Anish's father.

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