Mumbai: Father donates liver, saves daughter in complex transplantation

Baby Harshita
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Baby Harshita with her mother after liver transplantation.

Rohit Shishodia
A father has saved the life of his 11-months-old daughter by donating a part of his liver at Mumbai’s Global Hospital. His daughter, Harshita, was diagnosed with biliary atresia, an end-stage liver disease.

Harshita's survival chances looked bleak due to non-availability of matched liver donor. Her condition was deteriorating. Finding a donor was a race against time as Harshita's condition deteriorated.

None of the family members' blood group was matching that of Harshita. Doctors informed Harshita’s father about A-B-O blood group incompatible (mismatched) liver transplantation and it not being certain that the baby would survive after transplantation because rejection of donated liver from unmatching blood group is high due to very young age of patient. This was conveyed by doctors to the parents.

Her father, Mr Kajrolkar, agreeing to the doctors' suggestion, donated part of his liver. The transplantation was successful and the baby survived. This brought smiles on faces of her parents. She was discharged after 16 days of transplantation. After two months of transplantation, she is now fine and doing well.

Dr Ravi Mohanka, Liver Transplant Surgeon at Global Hospital, said: “Baby Harshita had undergone timely Kasai portoenterostomy for biliary atresia. But her illness progressed. She continued to have jaundice, poor weight gain, fluid in the tummy, repeated infections requiring ICU admission and blood in the vomitus.”

Dr Mohanka added, “The only treatment available was urgent liver transplantation. For any routine liver transplantation, blood group of donor and recipient should match. However, baby Harshita did not have a suitable blood group matched donor in her family. With limited time available and absence of donor, liver transplantation was looking like an impossible task for Harshita”.

Dr Vibhor Borkar, Paediatric Hepatologist at Global Hospital, said, “In ABO-incompatible liver transplantation, we go ahead with liver transplantation even though blood groups of donor and recipient do not match. It is a medically challenging task. Such transplantations have more risk compared to routine transplant. Patients have a higher risk of rejection and infections. They need stronger immunity suppressing medications and sometimes specialized dialysis.”

Dr Anurag Shrimal, Paediatric Liver transplant surgeon at Global Hospital, said, “We had done such operations earlier in adults. However, for an infant, this was our first time. Apart from this, Harshita also had other major challenges like her age was less than 1 year, and weight only 5.5 kg. Her family understood the need of the situation and risk involved for such kind of operation. Harshita’s father has B blood group.”

Dr Vivek Talaulikar, CEO, Global Hospital, Parel, stated, “A highly competent liver team is required to perform such a challenging surgery and manage the baby during the post-operative period. This ABO-incompatible liver transplantation for Harshita is first such kind surgery done in infants in western India.”


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