Landmark feat for local doctors
A team of Bangladeshi surgeons led by Prof Mohammad Ali has conducted the first successful liver transplantation in the country at Birdem Hospital Thursday.
Prof Ali is the department head of Hepato Biliary and Pancreatic Surgery of Birdem Hospital. A group of Indian surgeons also assisted the team during the procedure.
"It is a great achievement for the country's health sector as a significant number of patients will not have to go abroad for liver transplantation. Furthermore, it will be less expensive here," said Prof AK Azad, president of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB), at a press conference in Birdem auditorium yesterday.
Patients suffering from Hepatitis B, liver cancer or liver cirrhosis would soon be able to have liver transplantation at Tk 30 to 35 lakh, said experts.
Prof AK Khan said after procuring some sophisticated equipment within four to five months, Birdem would go for full-fledged liver transplantation.
A 24-member team conducted the surgery for long 17 hours and both the patient Irshad Ahmed, 42, and donor his uncle Khaled Abdullah, 29, are now in good condition.
Irshad Ahmed is kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while Khaled had been shifted to a cabin from the ICU, said the doctors.
The transplant cost Irshad only Tk 16 lakh as the instruments used for the surgery were provided free of charge by different organisations.
Dutch Bangla Bank provided a huge amount of money to the DAB while Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, Gastro liver Hospital and Research Institute and Popular Diagnostic Centre provided support with their equipment.
Since a person can live with 700 grams of liver, the right lobe of the donor's liver was taken and transplanted into the recipient. The liver of the donor will grow to its former size within six to twelve weeks, said Prof Ali.
A successful liver transplantation increases 85 percent chances of living for a year, 69 percent chances for five years and 61 percent for ten years, the experts said.
In developed countries, liver transplant from a living donor started from the 1980s. But it is still highly expensive. Even in India it takes about Tk 1 crore.
Bangladesh could not go for liver transplantation for lack of trained manpower. So a significant number of patients with liver cirrhosis were going to Singapore, Bangkok and India for transplantation.
There are more than one lakh liver patients in Bangladesh who need immediate transplantation, the experts said.