CHENNAI: In just two years after it came into existence, the Government Multi-Super Speciality Hospital at Omandurar Estate has become the only second government hospital in the country to get licence to perform cadaver liver transplants. The only other government hospital in the country to have that distinction is the Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
The multi-speciality hospital does not have a Surgical Gastroenterology Department (which deals with stomach and intestines). But since the Madras Medical College (MMC), to which the hospital is affiliated to, has a dedicated institute for gastroenterology, the licence was granted to the hospital.
“The expertise from the institute will be shared to perform the transplants here”, said an official from the state Health Department. The licence to conduct the transplants is granted by the Directorate of Medical Services, which functions under the state Health Department.
The multi-speciality hospital, which was inaugurated in 2014 as a referral hospital, has also applied for licence to perform cadaver heart transplant and an expert team has also completed the inspection recently, said the hospital officials to Express. So far, the Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital is the only government-run institution in the country to perform liver transplant.
The hospital, which started performing liver transplants in 2009, has so far performed 52 procedures. In January, the hospital signed an MoU with experts in Global Hospital and performed five successful transplants.
According to official sources, talks are underway with the experts in Global Hospital, who have already have an MoU with the state Health Department to perform the liver transplants in Multi-Super Speciality Hospital as well.
Under the cadaver transplant programme, since 2008 over 753 cadaver liver transplants have been performed so far. This is the largest number of organ transplants in the cadaver organs registry after Kidney.
The demand for cadaver liver is 100 per cent, which means all harvested livers were used for the transplants.
Currently, 383 patients are wait-listed for liver transplants and out of them 226 are declared fit to undergo the surgery. Though Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in cadaver organ transplants, still the demand for the organs continues to be high.
“We could augment only 15 cadaver organs per month, but the demand is huge,” said P K Sreekumar, Chief Programme Manager, Tamil Nadu Cadaver Transplant Programme. Fatty liver disease, alcoholism and hepatitis B and C infection burden in Tamil Nadu are the reasons for liver transplant demand. Over 250 to 300 liver transplants are performed in Tamil Nadu per year, but the demand is 10 times more than this. Liver transplant cost is around `25 lakh. So most of the patients die without going for liver transplant due to this huge cost, said Dr M Srinivas Reddy, senior consultant surgeon, liver transplantation,Global Hospital.