CHENNAI: Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre in Chennai set a new record in liver transplant surgeries by performing it on a one-month-old boy, the youngest child to undergo liver transplantation in India.
Just a week after he was born and breastfed, Aadav* had to be hospitalised for continuous vomiting. Back in Mumbai, his hometown, the hospital authorities initially thought it was only a case of infection, but were in for a rude shock when his condition rapidly deteriorated into a state of coma.
Extensive investigation revealed high levels of ammonia, which makes the brain swell and cause coma or death. When proteins are metabolised in the body, a toxic by-product called ammonia is generated and the liver converts it to urea which is then excreted in the urine. So, as a temporary solution, peritoneal dialysis was performed on him to control ammonia levels and then he was brought to Chennai for liver transplant.
Dr Mohamed Rela, chairman and managing director of Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre, said, “Quick diagnosis and timely supportive measures were initiated and that prevented the child from having brain damage. The parents took the right decision of undergoing liver transplantation even though the baby was so young and no one has performed liver transplantation in India on such a young infant.”
He said that at Rela Institute, they have expertise in complex organ transplants like liver, bone morrow, kidney and intestinal transplant for children.
Dr Naresh Shanmugam, children liver specialist said, “One in 3,000 children are born with some form of metabolic disorders, some of them can be severe and cause death in newborns, while most of them are mild forms which go undetected. Performing such a complex surgery and managing the baby during post-operative period requires a skilled team. We are extremely pleased to see that the baby is back to mother’s milk from protein free artificial feeds.”