The New Technology guarantees success of so very expensive liver transplant

Aster DM healthcare becomes the first hospital chain in Asia to adopt the new process

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New Delhi: Liver transplant costs a bomb- to be precise,14 lakh rupees in AIIMS and rupees 25 lakh in a private hospital.

Mishap, therefore, is a deadly blow to the patient and his family which dares pay astronomical amount for it. According to liver transplant surgeons, standard process currently used is not ideal and 5-10% livers don’t function after transplant.

But thanks to a new technology, the chance of any such mishap in liver transplant is effectively eliminated. Aster DM healthcare becomes the hospital chain in Asia to successfully introduce this new technology named OrganOx metra. Aster CMI Hospital in Bengaluru happens to be its first hospital to go for this in liver transplant on a 56 year old patient who made a quick recovery and was discharged in a couple of weeks not long ago.

Talking to Medicare News, Mr. Subith Kumar, CEO, Duraent Lifesciences, Hyderabad, exclusive partner of machine OrganOx metra in India, said‘ Aster becomes the first hospital chain in Asia to introduces this much needed new technology. After successful adoption of this technology in Aster CMI Hospital in Bengaluru, Other hospitals are expected soon to follow in its footsteps.’ Mr Kumar was in Delhi to launch this technology. Dr. A.S Soin, Chairman and Chief Surgeon, Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation, and Scientific Advisor to OrganOx (Oxford, UK) oversaw this process being used in Aster hospital.

OrganOx metra is a machine that not only keeps donated cadaver livers from the brain dead alive up to 24 hours outside the body before transplant; it revives them too, if they get damaged in course of retrieval and transportation.

Talking to Medicare News, Dr Soin, who presented the launch in Delhi, said, ‘Standard technique currently used is static cold storage which is not ideal. In this, the organ is washed with preservative solution, commonly UW solution and stored in ice at 40C – up to 6-12 hrs but it is not ideal. Coming through this, 20-30% cadaver liver for transplant turned down by surgeons due to damage sustained during / after death – either prior to harvest or at the time of retrieval operation. Not only this, 5-10% livers don’t function after transplant. 15-20% sustain damage during standard static cold preservation, take some time to function after transplant – delaying patient recovery, prolonging ICU stay, hospital stay and increasing costs to the patient.’

Accounting the advantages of the new process, Dr Soin said, ‘ Donor livers can be transported over long distances. It keeps liver alive outside the body under the same conditions as in the healthy human – up to 24 hrs att 370C – normal body temperature. Donor liver have qualities like: healthy, blood group-matched warm blood run through it; rich oxygen supply maintained; Nutrients run through it just like in the body; real time monitoring of all important blood and liver parameters. Once the liver looks good, feels soft and healthy, and gives good parameters on the machine, it is removed and put into the patient.

Dr Soin added, ‘ it will make 30% extra livers available for transplantation by reviving the un-usable organs. By ‘mending’ mildly damaged livers, will improve liver transplant success rates, hasten patient recovery and discharge, and reduce costs’.

In India there is a dismal liver transplant scenario. Every year only 1700 liver transplants take place in India.  2, 50,000 die annually from liver failure and 50,000 from liver cancer. 30-35,000 of these can be saved by liver transplant. NOTTO DD wait list in 2017 contained 4300 patients – but only 640 got livers.

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