Tamil Nadu

Man undergoes bilateral lung transplant

New lifeline: Dr. Govini Balasubramani with the patient who underwent lung transplant at Fortis Hospital.   | Photo Credit: PICHUMANI K

A 34-year-old man from Chandigarh, with a low body mass index, recently underwent lung transplant surgery at a city hospital here.

The farmer from Punjab had a rare familial interstitial lung disease. ILD is a group of disorders that progressively scars lung tissue. It is believed to occur in one in one lakh population.

The challenges for the surgeons was his low body mass index, which was 15 (transplant is taken up only in patients with 18-32 BMI).

His small chest cavity and multiple chest tube insertions on the sides of the lungs added to the complication. He had been on oxygen support for two years and was registered with National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation for donor lungs. “He came to us six months ago and soon his oxygen requirement rose to 12 litres a day from 2 litres a day,” said Govini Balasubramani, head, CTVS, Heart and Lung Transplant, Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani. “He wasn’t able to step out of his home without oxygen support. Generally for his age his BMI should have been 25. Identifying the correct size of lungs as he had a small chest cavity was a tedious task,” Dr. Subramani said.

Ahead of transplant, special attention was paid to his diet, physiotherapy and medication. Finally, on October 8, in a seven-hour surgery, the transplant was done.

On Thursday, the patient, who was presented at the hospital to the media, said in a feeble voice in Hindi, “I am feeling good.”

Dr. Subramani said within days of transplant his condition improved as he did not require oxygen support. He would be reviewed in two months.

The patient’s two sisters had similarly suffered and one of them died despite surgery. “His father had also suffered from breathlessness and had died without treatment,” Dr. Subramani said.

According to him, except for Israel and to some extent in the United States screening for the condition is not done anywhere in the world.

The patient’s community in his home town had borne the cost of the surgery and hospitalisation, he said.

The hospital’s zonal director Sanjay Pandey attributed the feat to the multidisciplinary approach that included surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists and pulmonologists.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 5:52:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/man-undergoes-bilateral-lung-transplant/article37223219.ece

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