Last month, a 3-year-old child from Kenya, Divine, underwent two simultaneous surgeries at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. The girl went through an open heart surgery along with a liver transplant surgery which was donated to her by her father, Steven Obaro. This was the first time doctors at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital claimed to have conducted two simultaneous surgeries on a child. Dr Namish Mehta, who is a senior liver transplant surgeon at the hospital, told Times of India that there was a large tumour present in the liver of the child. Moreover, her heart was not pumping enough blood that could reach various parts of her body. Usually, doctors avoid conducting two major surgeries at the same time and prefer to keep an interval between two surgeries but in Divine’s case, it was not possible for the doctor to conduct the surgeries at different times. The removal of the tumour in intervals could further spread it to the unaffected parts of her body. “Simultaneous surgery was the only option and we took a chance,” said the surgeon.
The surgery was conducted on June 20 with the assistance of over 40 medical personnel, reports TOI. The entire operation went on for about 15 hours. First, the tumour from her liver was removed followed by the heart surgery, both of which took place in the same theatre. According to TOI, Dr Sashank Pandey who is a senior liver transplant anaesthetist at the hospital said that the operation involved severe risks of bleeding and hypotension. Due to the complex procedure of the surgery, the doctors kept a strict watch on the child to pick up even minor changes seen in her.
Transplant surgeries have become a common phenomenon today, with India carrying near about 20 per cent of the global burden of diseases. Recently, on July 25, a 24-year-old man underwent a heart transplant surgery in Delhi’s Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI).