Considered rare world-wide, doctors at a private hospital in Gurgoan today claimed to have successfully performed an intestinal transplant on a 30-year- old software engineer who is now able to eat solid food after a gap of almost three years.
Medanta Medicity said the patient, Himanshu, had a successful intestinal transplant on November 24 after a 10- hour-long marathon surgery performed by a 30-member team of doctors.
Dr A S Soin, Chairman of Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, told a press conference that the patient was seized by severe abdominal pain in 2009 after which he underwent six minor surgeries and four life-threatening episodes of infection and sepsis.
"The transplant can be conducted only when there is a suitable donor available. The donor should be young and slim. Being fat has its own complications. We got the donor on November 24...He is a deceased person and his intestine was removed at Sir Gangaram Hospital," he said.
The patient would be discharged from the hospital in the next couple of days.
The surgeon said the intestine has to be transplanted within four hours of it being removed from the donor and the surgery is complicated and involves time.
Before the surgery, the patient had been on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) and he was regularly diagnosed, the doctor said.
"It has been six weeks after the surgery was performed. He is eating on his own. He says he is able to eat even kichidi on his own. It is successful because the purpose of the surgery has been achieved," Soin said.
Intestinal transplants are done only in a few institutions in the world and the survival rate is from one year to 10 years, doctors said.
Eminent cardiac surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan said since the transplant is successful, this service can be offered to many more people.
"Main thing is the patient has to be maintained without any infection," he said.
During the past six weeks, Himanshu had one episode of rejection and 3 episodes of infection all of which were swiftly managed with appropriate anti-rejection drugs and antibiotics.
"I had to re-learn how to eat normally and understand the signals of satiety. Even the khichdi given to me tasted divine," the patient was quoted as saying by doctors.