Pune: With team effort and hi-tech transplant unit, govt-run hospital sees first liver transplant

“My father was unwell for three years. We took him to several private hospitals. The expenses for operation is nothing less than Rs 25 lakh,” said Sagar Jadhav, Babasaheb’s son.

The state-run Sassoon General Hospital successfully performed its first liver transplant on August 22, with the joint effort of doctors, organ transplant coordinators and medical social workers. “It has been 12 days since the liver transplant has been conducted. Babasaheb, who is a 58-year-old retired primary school teacher from Tarale village in Satara, is recovering well,” said Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital.

Speaking with media persons on Monday, Dr Chandanwale said that it was for the first time that a government-run hospital in the state has undertaken a liver transplant. There are 16 government hospitals and a concerted effort, made by doctors and a hi-tech transplant unit, ensured that the operation was a success.

“My father was unwell for three years. We took him to several private hospitals. The expenses for operation is nothing less than Rs 25 lakh,” said Sagar Jadhav, Babasaheb’s son.

Babasaheb was suffering from liver cirrhosis since the last three years. He was enlisted in the waiting list. “A month ago we were informed that it was likely that he would receive a cadaver liver. However, some issues cropped up. This time, the entire process was so smooth that it has changed my perception about a government hospital,” Jadhav told media persons.

The procedure is not covered under the state-run Mahatma Jyotiba Phule insurance scheme. However, the cost was approximately pegged at Rs 8 lakh, Dr Chandanwale added.

The team comprising Dr. Kamlesh Bokil, Dr. Santosh Thorat and Matron Rajshree Korke and Nurse Dharna Jagtap went to Solapur for retrieval of the liver from a patient, who was brain dead. Ruby Hall Clinic provided the technical assistance, said Bokil, who is a honorary transplant surgeon at Sassoon General hospital.

“The entire procedure worked due to the excellent coordination of team members, including Dr. Shital Dhadphale, Dr.Shashikala Sangle, Dr. Surekha Shinde and Dr. Harish Tatiya. Chandanwale said Agrawal Club Foundation had donated instruments, worth Rs 52 lakh, for the liver transplant unit.

“Government Institutes can be at par with many private institutions and this effort has shown a ray of hope to many poor and needy patients, who can not afford expensive treatments,” Dr Chandanwale said.  So far, nine successful kidney transplants have been performed at Sassoon General Hospital last year. The hospital is now waiting for the permission to perform a heart transplant.

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