Abu Dhabi: A businessman from Dubai who was suffering from liver failure got a new lease of life following a successful liver transplant. The liver was donated by his wife.
The team of doctors who performed two separate operations on the expatriate couple said they were happy over their quick recovery, saying that it usually takes a week for the patients to be stabilised.
Bhavana Doshi's right lobe of the liver was first snipped out and then transplanted into her husband, Prakash Doshi. The two separate operations took nine hours.
In a live donation, the liver of the donor regenerates to its previous size within a few months. The transplanted segment grows in the recipient to the full size.
Careful calibration was done before the operation, doctors said. Luckily the blood types of the couple were compatible for the operation, they added.
Special equipment for the operation was brought from Tawam Hospital in Al Ain. The team of doctors included Emirati and German specialists.
Dr Rashid Ahmad Al Nuaimi, Director of Medical Services at the Zayed Military Hospital, told reporters that despite all facilities available here, many Emiratis travel abroad for similar operations.
"We want to encourage patients to consider having their operations done locally," said Dr Al Nuaimi. "We have all the necessary equipment and specialist doctors, consultants and nurses. The operation is also far less expensive if done in the UAE," he said. "A similar operation done abroad would cost more than Dh365,000," he said.
Many go to Asian countries for cheap organ transplants and since there is no proper follow up, the patient relapses, doctors warn.
A senior official at the hospital said the operation was a "challenge", but it wanted to show that it can be done locally. The success has encouraged health officials to look into opening a transplant hospital in the UAE to take care of liver, pancreas and kidney related cases for patients from across the Middle East. "We aim to service patients from around the region," he said.
"This operation gave us that sort of confidence. The patients recovered very fast, they returned to stable condition in two days, whereas normally it can take up to six days to recover," said Danhani.
Around 30 to 40 specialist medics and surgeons visit the hospitals here to help out in complicated cases.
Dr Nadia Rashid Al Mazroui, Deputy Director, said: "We still need consultation from doctors abroad so that we don't leave any room for failure. That is why we consulted medical professionals from Germany."
The sister of the donor, Priti Parekh, told Gulf News, "We are delighted by the results of this operation, which we know was not easy.
"Doshi has been suffering for the past six months and 60 per cent of his liver was damaged. It's amazing how normal they both are after the operation."
A vital organ
The liver is the body's largest internal organ. Liver failure means that it cannot break down food into energy, remove harmful chemicals and drugs, cannot produce bile which absorbs fat and vitamins from the food, or produce proteins needed for blood clotting, and maintain a balance in hormones.
In a living donation, a person can donate the right lobe (approximately 60 per cent) of the liver.
First human liver transplant was performed in 1963 by a team led by Dr Thomas Starz of Denver, Colorado. The introduction of cyclosporine by Sir Roy Calne markedly improved patient outcomes, and in the 1980s liver transplantation became a standard clinical treatment for both adult and paediatric patients.