Staff Reporter

Bangalore: Neeraja Kuliyappa (27) suffered from severe diabetes for two-and-a half years before it was decided that her father Ramachandra Kuliyappa (62) would donate a part of his pancreas and one of his kidneys so that she would be relieved of her discomfort.

This simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant from a live donor in India was performed by kidney specialist Hasith Mehta and transplant surgeon Shantanu Bhattacharya from Narayana Hrudayalaya Institute of Cardiac Sciences.

One month after the operation, the father and daughter were brought to be part of Narayana Hrudayalaya’s press meet about pancreatic transplant as a solution to diabetes.

The transplant took close to 10 hours.

“The operation was performed by six surgeons and 10 anaesthetists. We had ten theatre nurses, five theatre boys and ten other nurses who were part of the operation,” said Dr. Bhattacharya who addressed the press meet along with Dr. Mehta and senior paediatrician and liver specialist Ashley D’Cruz and consultant nephrologist Ishtiaque Ahmed, all of whom were part of the team of surgeons.

The risks of pancreatic surgery entail a 5 to10 per cent chance of the donor developing diabetes.

“The patients are chosen carefully and a complete health profile is drawn out to understand their risk,” Dr. Bhattacharya said and added that pancreatic transplant required that the patient take care of the graft for life.

The entire procedure cost Rs. 11 lakh. While Narayana Hrudayalaya bore the cost of the drugs, which was Rs. 7.5 lakh, the rest was arranged by the patients.

There was also emphasis on cadaver donor transplant and the fact that it needed to be promoted in India.

Now fully recovered, Ms. Neeraja Kuliyappa is off medication and both father and daughter will require some more rest and dietary restrictions to keep themselves healthy.