Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Introducing a low-cost innovative liver transplant surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals here has successfully operated upon and transplant the liver of Humayan Kabir, a public health doctor from Bangladesh, without using the conventional expensive Hepatitis B immunoglobulin.

Giving details of the surgery and the case, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital's Liver transplant surgeon Subhas Gupta said: "For this new treatment to be successful, the transplant team at Apollo Hospitals had to use a three-step procedure. First we had to stop viral replication in the recipient and when Dr. Kabir came to India in September he was put on strong antiviral drugs and his blood was tested after six weeks and he was found to be Hepatitis-B DNA negative. Simultaneously his brother (the donor) was vaccinated with Hepatitis B vaccine and when his antibody titres were adequate, he donated half of his liver for his brother's transplant. Although the risk of recurrence is low by this method still Dr. Kabir will need to be on antiviral drugs lifelong.''

Dr. Kabir, who is now all set to celebrate Id at home with his two children, is expected to leave Delhi by early next week.

"The entire trip, surgery and other expenses has cost me Rs 20 lakh and I must thank my colleagues and medical school friends who pitched in and helped me raise the money for my surgery. I hope to now lead a campaign to eradicate Hepatitis B infection by public health education and vaccination of high-risk individuals back at home,'' said Dr. Kabir.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals Director of Medical Services Anupam Sibal said: "With this latest approach the cost of liver transplant can be brought down from Rs. 25 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs."