Bangalore, April 28, 2016: Manipal Hospitals Bangalore scripted a path breaking rare liver transplant surgery to gift new lease of life to 8 month old baby boy Master Habilen from Mauritius. The donor recipient surgery was successfully accomplished by team of expert transplant surgeons led byDr. Ravichand, Chief of Liver Transplant Surgeon along with Dr. Magnus Mansard, Liver Transplant surgeon and Specialist Liver Anaesthetist Dr. Navneethan.

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Baby Habilen was suffering from Progressive Familial Intra-Hepatic Cholestasis (PFIC) when he was only five months old -a condition in which the bilirubin produced by the liver is not able to get excreted by the liver and was getting stagnated within, causing damage to the liver. In a short period of less than a year the liver was damaged irreversibly (cirrhosis).

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There was no medical treatment possible in this scenario and the only option to save this child was to do a living donor liver transplant. While the situation was being explained to the baby’s family, his 19 year old sister volunteered to be the donor. Post comprehensive evaluation and after completing the legal formalities with the concerned authorities the surgery was conducted.

A portion of the liver weighing around 250 grams was removed and implanted in the baby after carefully removing the whole of the disease liver. The surgery lasted for 8 hours and was performed with the help of special microscope to suture the blood vessels. Post the transplant the baby was shifted to pediatric liver ICU and monitored under the expert care of Dr. Aswath, Pediatric intensivist  and Dr. Sivakumar Pediatric intensivist,Manipal Hospitals

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals said, “Baby Habilen’s case was not only rare and complicated but heart-warming as well. His sister came forward to donate a part of her liver to save him. Interestingly after a portion of the liver is resected it grows back to almost 90% of its original size, in the hands of experts liver donation is an accepted medical procedure and certainly is a lifesaving procedure for patients with liver failure especially in children. In this case the donor has recovered well and will lead a normal life soon.”

Dr Olithselvan, Chairman & Hepatologist, Manipal Hospitals Bangalore said, “The challenge in this particular case was the weight of the baby which was merely 8 kgs. This made the surgery tedious and complicated. The blood vessels supplying blood to the liver are in the size of millimeters and joining them together requires a great degree of skill and experience. Post-operative complications risks such as blockage of blood vessels are also a possibility in such cases.”

He further added, “Not many centers in India conduct transplant on such small babies with successful outcomes. Fortunately at Manipal we have experienced team of hepatologists, liver transplant surgeons and intensivists who were able to perform this miraculous liver transplant on the child successfully.”

Parents of the baby said, “We were extremely disheartened to learn the condition of our baby. Our prayers were answered at Manipal Hospital thanks to the team of doctors who have given a second life to our baby. Both our children are healthy and safe and we are all set to fly back to our country.”

Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (PFIC) is a class of chronic cholestasis disorders that begin in infancy and usually progress to cirrhosis within the first decade of life. The average age of onset is at 3 months. The ill effects of PFIC can be many right from severe jaundice, discolourisation of teeth, darker urine, vitamin deficiencies, enlarged liver, itching and gall stones apart from host of other things.