The 15-hour surgery must be carried out because the baby had significant complications due to end-stage chronic liver disease, said the hospital yesterday.
The baby was born prematurely because of broken water. While he was treated retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disorder that can lead to vision loss amongst premature children, physicians discovered that he also suffered jaundice − a yellow coloring of the skin and eyes due to a very high level of bilirubin (bile pigment) in the bloodstream because of biliary atresia.
Though the bay had undertook the Kasai procedure to re-establish bile flow from the liver into the intestine, his condition did not abate.
Subsequently, he was rushed to the infirmary for further treatment when he was suffering serious pneumonia, end-stage liver failure and breathing problem.
Despite intensive treatment care, his condition was worse; accordingly, the hospital management board decided to carry out liver transplantation on him as quickly as possible.
The liver donor was 56-year-old grandfather from the southern province of Tay Ninh.
Two weeks after the operation, the baby was recovering. Two months later, he could sit in the strollers and play with his relatives.
According to Professor Tran Dong A, special consultant of the hospital, this is one of the most serious cases the hospital has admitted. Without liver transplantation, the patients will die; accordingly, surgeons had tried their best to save them. Doctors have learnt a lot from the two cases to save more children later, he added.
Director of the Children Hospital No.2 Trinh Huu Tung said 17 kidney transplants and 12 liver transplants have been performed in the hospital; however, operations have not satisfied the demand of waiting patients for transplant because many poor families can’t afford a transplant operation which cost from some hundreds of millions of Vietnam dong to one billion of Vietnam dong.
Dr. Hung therefore called for join hand of benefactors and organizations to establish a fund to support poor child patients who need organ transplants.
In the next time, the hospital will build a hi-tech surgery center for organ transplants on children.