Doctors of Mumbai’s Global Hospital have given a new lease of life to an 8.5-month-old girl by a successful liver transplant. The baby weighed just 4.7 kilos, which made her the lightest baby to have liver transplantation in Western India.
The baby, Ipsa Krunal Valvi from Surat, was suffering from a rare liver disease Biliary Atresia (BA) which happens to 1 in 20000 children. In BA, bile becomes stagnant in the liver and causes permanent liver damage and cirrhosis.
BA can be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed within three months of birth. But in case of Valvi, the disease was diagnosed later, for which the only treatment option was liver transplantation to save her. Her family was in shock as her health was continuously deteriorating.
Dr. Anurag Shrimal, Paediatric Liver Transplant Surgeon at Global Hospital, said “Baby Ipsa’s liver transplant surgery was performed successfully in June 2019. Liver transplant surgery in babies less than 5 kg is one of the most challenging operations. In small babies the blood vessels are very small and joining them to transplanted liver requires a special skill set.”
Dr Shrimal explained that the complex surgery was almost blood-less and she required only 30 ml of blood during the entire surgery. The post-operative recovery of tiny infants is as challenging as the surgery. Strict asepsis and attention to every detail is an absolute must.
Dr. Vibhor Borkar, Paediatric Hepatologist at Global Hospital, said, “As Ipsa was becoming older, her liver disease was getting worse. She developed Jaundice, ascites (fluid in her belly) and most importantly stopped growing. Despite the best efforts, her condition worsened. She started developing infections requiring multiple hospital admissions.”
She recovered well from the surgery, and was discharged within three weeks. After surgery, her jaundice gradually disappeared, she became more playful, alert, and could catch up with developmental milestones for her age.
Dr. Vivek Talaulikar, CEO-Global Hospital, said, “A commendable effort has been made by the liver transplant team to perform this challenging surgery along with managing the baby during post-operative period to keep infections at bay. Thus, we have been able to set up the most successful liver transplantation program in western India and the only program doing dedicated Paediatric liver transplantation service on a continual basis.”