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HEALTH

Living donor’s liver transplant brings new hope for cirrhosis patients
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 10
“This is the least I could do for a person who brought me to life. For almost two months my sister and I fought over phone on the issue of choosing a live donor for the liver transplant required by my dad. Ultimately, I told my younger sister since I was the elder of the two siblings, the first choice rested with me and I flew back from Melbourne to facilitate the surgery that saved the life of my dad”.

This is how 23-year-old Aman Sekhon describes the ‘miracle’ called ‘Liver Transplant’ carried out on his father Mr Sarvinder Sekhon, who was diagnosed with Liver Cirrhosis.

In a surgery believed to a hall mark in the treatment of liver disease resulting from any of the multiple factors like Hepatitis, alcohol, HIV etc where there is a complete damage to the organ, doctors are now successfully using a portion of liver from a live donor as opposed to one from a cadaver with very satisfactory results.

In this particular case, Mr Sekhon, a Chandigarh resident, had contracted Hepatitis C over a decade ago, and was under treatment of Dr Arvind Sahni, Director, Gastroenterology at Fortis. When his liver totally packed up, it was suggested that he undergoes a liver transplant with a donation from a relative. This is when the family started exploring all options.

With time running out, Aman was finally chosen to become the donor of choice and the surgery was successfully conducted by D.A.S. Soin, Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at New Delhi. Perhaps the first patient from the tri-city to undergo this kind of surgery, Mr Sekhon has got a normal lease of life that will serve as an example for many patients with liver damage that did not have much hope earlier.

Talking to The Tribune here, Dr Sahni said, “in such a surgery, the donor has to be a family member otherwise the liver cells do not match. Not many liver transplants have been performed in India, the maximum number would not cross 200. Liver transplant brings a ray of hope to people with seriously damaged livers, where all other medication has failed. Till a few years ago Cirrhosis of the Liver was the end of the road for a patient. But now, with the advancement of science, expertise and surgical techniques, liver transplants are growing in numbers across the globe”.

Thought this technique of liver transplant has brought with it a lot of hope for patients, but the cost of the surgery is prohibitive and it is approximately between Rs 20 to 25 lakh and post — transplant medication can cost up to Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. The Sekhons who also contemplated having the same surgery done in the United States discovered that it cost over Rs 1.80 crore for the same procedures there.

Potential donors and recipients undergo a comprehensive evaluation, including a psychiatric assessment, to ensure that they are comfortable with their decision. One-year survival rates for liver transplant patients are 85.3 to 88.1 per cent.

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Mohali ‘emerging’ medical tourism hub
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 10
Mohali was fast emerging as a medical tourism hub, said Dr M.S. Toor, Civil Surgeon, at a seminar held on continued medical education (CME) here today.

Dr Toor said with the specialised treatment available, patients from Pakistan, Canada, West Asia preferred to get treatment here. The primary reason was the cost of treatment, which was one-tenth as compared to western countries, as well as global standards in quality of treatment offered.

More than 70 leading doctors from the region were present at the seminar organised by Fortis Hospital in association with Indian Medical Association (IMA), Mohali Chapter.

Dr G S Kalra, (senior consultant, cardiology) and Dr Rajeev Bedi (Department of Oncology), Fortis Hospital, addressed the medical fraternity on the “Management of Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD) in Diabetes” and “Advances in Medical Oncology”, respectively.

Dr Kalra emphasised on high incidence of diabetes and coronary artery diseases in patients of this region.

Dr Bedi said almost 60-70 per cent of cancer could be prevented by life style modification and avoiding smoking, tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol.

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Centre asked to cancel Sahai’s transfer

Chandigarh, July 10
The Chandigarh Administration has asked the Centre to cancel the transfer orders of Mr S.N. Sahai, Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, it is reliably learnt.

In a communication to the Centre, the UT has said that Mr Sahai is connected with important projects which are at an advanced stage and it will be better in case his transfer is cancelled, sources added. TNS

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