June 6, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi
As a pioneer in liver transplantation surgeries in Kerala, the Department of Solid Organ Transplant is scripting yet another chapter in the success story of the Amrita School of Medicine.
On May 13, 2011, the department achieved a major milestone – it successfully completed 100 liver transplants.
On this occasion, Dr. Unnikrishnan G., Associate Professor, shared his thoughts.
This achievement was possible only with Amma’s blessings. The deeply ingrained culture of teamwork that pervades in Amrita also contributed.
After the first transplant on June 27, 2004, there was a period of lull for three years, during which only three transplants were performed.
The number of transplants increased as the program gained momentum from 2007 on. During the past 12 months, we conducted 38 transplant surgeries.
Notable among the 100 transplants completed, was the first liver-plus-kidney transplant in the state. The recipient was a 17-year-old boy who suffered from oxalosis.
Among these 100, eight were children under the age of twelve years.
Seven patients with hepatocellular carcinoma not amenable for conventional treatment were also treated with transplant surgeries.
There has been an average survival rate of 70 % over a five-year period. In-hospital mortality was around 20%. These numbers are comparable to long standing liver transplant programs all over the world.
Today, ours is the largest living donor program in South India.
An area of concern for the transplant team is the fact that the program is still largely driven by living related donors. There were only eight deceased organ donations. Despite the high socioeconomic indices in the state, willingness for deceased donor organ donations has been suboptimal.
In this era of shady donor criteria and paid donor scams, we take extra pride in the fact that all living donors were genuine relatives. There were no mortalities for the living donors and major morbidities were minimal.
Apart from the Department of Solid Organ Transplant, Departments of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Gastroenterology, ICU and Nursing Services, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Neuromedicine, Pathology, Laboratory Services, Blood Bank, Pharmacy and Patient Services all contributed immensely towards this breakthrough achievement.
Thanks are due to all of them for their unswerving commitment and efforts.