6-month-old undergoes liver transplant successfully beating all odds

Baby Fathima
Baby Fathima Filza and family with Dr. Abhishek Yadav and the members of the Comprehensive Liver Care team at VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi.

Kochi:A six-month-old baby from Lakshadweep underwent a successful liver transplant surgery at VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi. Baby Fathima Filza, daughter of Mr. Mohammed Fathahuddin A.P and Sareena K.C, had been suffering with congenital liver disease which demanded an early liver transplant in order to survive.

Despite several hurdles, including the covid pandemic, travel restrictions from Lakshadweep, etc, the surgery was performed successfully at the Comprehensive Liver Care team of VPS Lakeshore which marks a notable achievement for the hospital as she is one of the youngest babies to undergo liver transplant in Kerala. Baby Fathima’s mother Sareena was the donor, and both the child and mother are doing well, after discharge from hospital.

Hailing from Anthradweep, Lakshadweep, baby Fathima had symptoms of jaundice, including yellow eyes, dark urine shortly after her birth and was diagnosed with biliary atresia. In spite of a surgery at the age of 2 months her condition was rapidly worsening due to recurrent infections and an early liver transplantation was the only possible cure for her.

"Liver transplant in babies is a challenging and difficult procedure and especially in babies who are so small. In addition to the usual challenges of doing liver transplantation in small babies there were additional hurdles that the surgeons had to overcome. The first was the very small and undeveloped portal vein- which is the main blood supply to the new liver, the surgeons overcame this problem by modifying a stent originally designed for stenting neck vessels in adults and placing it inside the child’s portal vein during the surgery.

"The second problem was a variation in the hepatic veins of the mother which was overcome by using a piece of blood vessel harvested from a brain dead donor in Thiruvananthapuram. She is also the smallest baby to undergo portal vein stenting which is only available in 2-3 centres across the country.”, said Dr. Abhishek Yadav, Chief Liver Transplant Surgeon and Director of Comprehensive Liver Care Institute, VPS Lakeshore Hospital. VPS Lakeshore hospital is also one of the few centres in the world to have a success rate of over 90% in paediatric liver transplant surgery.

Along with Dr. Abhishek, a team of over 25 doctors including Dr. Navaneethan Subrahmanian , Dr. Fadal Veerankutty, Dr.Dharav Kheradia and Dr. Nita George and support staff from the departments of Critical care, paediatrics, GI surgery, gastroenterology, radiology and Sayed Mohamed Abdul Wahab K. M., Coordinator were involved in the care of the baby.

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