Kidneys donated by the patients’ wives were swapped and transplanted by a team of nephrologists at Care Hospitals

It is not a Bollywood reel story. But a true happening in which 50-year-old M.M. Baig and 44-year-old Devidas, both suffering from end-stage renal disease, received a fresh lease of life after the kidneys donated by their wives were swapped and transplanted in the first such “swap kidney transplant’ in Andhra Pradesh.

The swap transplantation was carried out successfully by nephrology team at Care Hospitals in Hyderabad after it was found that the blood groups of both the donors did not match with those of their husbands.

In the case of Baig, his wife Ayesha’s blood group was ‘A positive’, while his was ‘B positive’.

Similarly, the blood group of Devidas was ‘A positive’ while that of his wife Nirmala ‘B positive’.

As both the patients had been on regular dialysis treatment for many months, doctors decided to take up ‘swap kidney transplant’.

After completing the legal formalities and taking permission from the State Authorisation Committee, swap transplant was carried out on November 7.

Doctors had to simultaneously perform four surgeries -- two for removing kidneys and two for transplanting them -- in four operation theatres.

The doctors addressed a press conference in Hyderabad on Tuesday along with the recipients and donors. Dr. Vikranth Reddy, head of department, Nephrology, said that six per cent of the population suffered from kidney diseases and around four to five lakh patients reach end-stage failure. But only 4,000 to 5,000 kidney transplants were being conducted in the country.

In case of incompatibility either in the blood group or antigens between the intended recipient and donor, swap transplant could be undertaken. He said that this procedure would also help in overcoming organ shortage.

Dr. Rajsekhar Chakravarthy, director, division of nephrology, said that 228 kidney transplants were conducted at Care Hospitals since 2004.

In 90 per cent of the cases, it was family donors, and in the rest, the kidneys were taken from cadavers.

Baig, a businessman hailing from Karimnagar, underwent a kidney transplant procedure in 2000 but the kidney failed a year ago.

He expressed his happiness at the latest outcome, while Devidas, a kirana shop owner, quipped, “Life is first class after the kidney operation”.