Chennai, November 16, 2023: MGM Healthcare, a renowned multi-specialty quaternary care hospital located in the heart of Chennai, proudly announces the successful life-saving living donor liver transplant performed on an 11-month-old underweight baby from Orissa. The infant, weighing only 7 Kilogram had Hepatoblastoma (Liver Cancer) and also suffered from a rare congenital condition called Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome.
The child was admitted to MGM Healthcare Chennai in July 2023, presenting with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver tumor. Having previously undergone eight cycles of chemotherapy in other hospitals, the parents sought a solution at MGM Healthcare. Further examinations by liver team headed by Dr. Thiagarajan Srinivasan, Senior Consultant & Director of the Institute of Liver Diseases, Transplant & HPB Surgery, and ably supported by Dr Karthik Mathivanan (Senior Consultant & Associate Director) and multidisciplinary team revealed the additional challenge of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome—a rare genetic disorder associated with overgrowth and an elevated risk of tumors. With an incidence affecting 1 in 10,500 to 13,700 newborns globally, this syndrome presented a unique medical challenge.
Explaining the treatment details, Dr. Thiagarajan Srinivasan said, owing to central location of Tumour in the liver rendered it unsafe for removal without damaging the organ, a decision was made to perform a living donor liver transplant. Further he said “We encountered multiple challenges, including the unavailability of a suitable related living liver donor and post-chemotherapy complications such as cachexia and infection. Overcoming these obstacles required stabilizing the patient through nutritional support and infection treatment, leading to a successful swap living donor liver transplant from a 42-year-old donor from Tamil Nadu, providing a new lease of life to the infant. The swap transplant required excellent coordination and a operating team of 40 medical professionals simultaneously to successfully execute this complex feat for 16 long hours.
“The liver from donor was too big for the small child and we employed special techniques to reduce the size of donor liver preserving its functionality and transplanted the reduced liver into the child. This was facilitated by Pre-operative 3D computerized reconstruction of the donor liver anatomy and virtual planning of the resection. The child successfully underwent liver transplant and now child is active and doing well with normal liver functions and no Tumour on follow up imaging,” he added.
Reflecting on the intricate surgery, Dr Karthik Mathivanan, Senior Consultant & Associate Director, Institute of Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery, MGM Healthcare, said, “As the child was extremely delicate to handle and underweight the surgery was a great challenge for us. The surgery took 12-hours-to replace the baby’s affected liver.”
“The awareness for such kind of liver cancers in Pediatric age group is very less. The option of liver transplant for complex cases like this is generally not considered. Early referral to specialised liver centres is the key to cure such cancer and save every children’s life,” Dr. Karthik added.
Mr. Harish Manian, Group CEO, MGM Healthcare said, “Our doctors have accomplished a remarkable feat in saving a child’s life through a highly critical surgery, involving the reduction of the donor’s liver size to ensure a perfect fit for the infant’s small body. At MGM Healthcare, our foremost priority has always been the well-being of our patients, and in this instance, we were privileged to offer a precious life a second chance. The success of this surgery underscores the skill and commitment of our entire medical team, along with the generosity of the donor. Our thoughts and best wishes are extended to the baby and the family.”
This successful surgery at MGM Healthcare highlights the hospital’s unwavering commitment to delivering the highest quality medical care and its dedication to pioneering treatments and surgeries. Dr. Srinivasan, Dr. Karthik Mathivanan and their team’s expertise in complex liver surgeries and transplants continues to make a significant impact on the lives of patients and their families.