Patient's wives swap kidneys to save husbands - The New Indian Express

Patient's wives swap kidneys to save husbands

Published: 28th November 2012 09:23 AM

Last Updated: 28th November 2012 09:23 AM

Renal dysfunctions and failures are slowly becoming a quiet epidemic given the rise in sedentary lifestyles. Added to that woe is the drop in available kidney donors. Explaining the situation, Dr K Rama Raju, Urologist and transplant surgeon at Care Hospitals, said, “There has been a reduction in the number of organs available for a transplant while the number of recipients have gone up considerably. This is primarily because cadaver donors have reduced with road accident numbers coming down. And this situation isn’t particular to India alone, it is a worldwide occurrence.”

In light of the thin flow of transplants, the hospital set a precedent by conducting the first swap transplant in the city, and apparently in the South of India as well.

A swap transplant is when two donors related to recipient swap their donations. In this case, Devidas and M M Baig were on regular dialysis at the hospital and were looking for a donor. Neither of their immediate family were suitable for the procedure as the blood groups didn’t match. However, quite coincidentally, the spouses turned out to have blood groups that matched the other. Having discovered the possibility of being able to donate their kidney in exchange for one, the patients sought permission from the medical authorities.

“Considering that this was the first time that this was happening, the government took a month’s time to ratify the procedure. It was necessary as the donation came from an unrelated party and someone in the family,” explained the doctor.

Agreeing, Dr Revathi, who was part of the team of surgeons for the recipients, added, “The time taken was important for the authorities to check the authenticity of the transaction; if there was any money involved, from either the donor or recipient’s side. Also it includes communication between the two parties and making sure they are aware of the consequences and are comfortable with the entire procedure.”

The swap transplantation was a tedious procedure with four surgeries taking place simultaneously over a period of four hours. “It is absolutely necessary for the procedures to take place simultaneously instead of one after the other, in case one of the donors change their mind,” explained Dr B V Rama Raju, senior consultant urologist.

Of the two patients, Baig had earlier had a transplant in 2000, donated by his cousin which developed problems a few years ago, necessitating the transplant.

Pointing out that any transplanted organ will over time begin to fail, Dr K Rama Raju said, “The initial renal disease itself may have relapsed or other causes like blood pressure and diabetes often wear out the new organ too. It isn’t particularly a permanent solution but is the best of the available options for end-stage renal disease.”

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