Largest domino kidney transplant in India conducted

12 patients operated on

Updated - May 13, 2016 12:22 pm IST

Published - January 26, 2014 12:36 am IST - Mumbai:

A father donated his kidney to his son. Two husbands did the same for their wives. Three wives gave a lease of life to their husbands in the same way. These transplants happened simultaneously on Saturday morning across three hospitals here. The medical exercise became the second and largest domino kidney transplant in India so far.

While this procedure is routine in North America and Europe, India’s first domino kidney transplant comprising five surgeries happened only in June, 2013. It took two years to execute.

The patients from Maharashtra, aged between 24 and 55 years, were registered with the city-based Apex Swap Transplant Registry (ASTRA) which facilitated the swap transplants. Currently, nearly 150 patients are registered with the registry. The surgeries (both on donors and recipients) happened at Bombay, Hinduja and Hiranandani Hospitals.

“If the domino kidney transplant had not been carried out, some of them would have had to wait indefinitely and the others, for a long time,” said coordinator of the transplants, Shrirang Bichu, a nephrologist with Bombay Hospital.

The exercise saw the participation of 12 patients, 12 urologists, 12 anaesthetists, five nephrologists, six vascular surgeons, 24 assistant surgeons, six assistant nephrologists and 24 nursing staff.

For a transplant, it is necessary that the blood and tissue of a donor and recipient match. If there is a donor but the blood group is incompatible, swap transplants make the procedure possible. The transplant is carried out in a series where the donor of one pair gives a kidney to the recipient of another pair. It continues till the last donor in the chain donates to the first recipient in the line.

ASTRA runs periodical checks of the database to see potential transplants and compatibility between donors and patients. Vishwanath Billa, nephrologist and transplant physician attached to Bombay Hospital and part of ASTRA, said inherently incompatible blood groups were made compatible using swap transplants. “So far, we have carried out 30 binary swaps. The domino kidney transplant is an extension of the binary swap, which is done on two people,” he said.

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