Medical Advances Save Child’s Life

Following the Apollo Hospital’s successfully Asia’s first en-bloc combined Heart and Liver transplant; Apollo Hospitals has performed ground-breaking surgery to a one-year-old child from Kenya who underwent an unusual liver transplant at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi.

A segment of the liver was donated by the child’s father. Paul was suffering from biliary atresia since birth, a condition in which the bile ducts (required to drain the bile from the liver to the intestine) were not developed. This is among the most common reasons for liver failure in infants.

The condition can be treated if detected within two months of birth. However, in Paul’s case, the condition went undetected. The only option for him was a liver transplant. The procedure was conducted at the Centre for Liver and Biliary Surgery at Apollo Hospitals Professor.

 Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, said: “Paul’s case was high-risk because he was severely malnourished, was born with a complex anatomy and his liver failure was rapidly worsening. Because of that he needed an urgent transplant. We took on the challenge with such a small baby weighing only six kilograms and with several risk factors as that was his only hope. ”Professor Sibal added that the child had made a remarkable recovery and was discharged two weeks after the surgery.

This successful operation took 12 hours and involved a medical team of 50 people. Dr. Subash Gupta, Chief Transplant Surgeon at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, conducted the operation.

Liver transplantation involves the replacement of a diseased liver with an entire or partially functioning liver from another individual. As there is currently no machinery that can replicate the functions of the liver this risky procedure is only undertaken as a last resort due to the unavailability of other cures. Despite its recent success rate the procedure is potentially fatal due to the complication involved during and after the surgery.

Dr. Subash Gupta, Chief Transplant Surgeon at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals states that “there are 3 liver transplantation techniques: cadaver donor transplantation, living donor transplantation and the less used auxiliary transplantation. In Cadaver donor transplantation the donor liver is obtained from a person who is diagnosed as brain dead, whose family volunteers to donate the organ for transplantation. People who receive cadaver donors wait on the institutional / regional list until a suitable donor becomes available.”

“Living donor transplant involves a healthy family member, usually a parent, sibling, or child, or someone emotionally close, such as a spouse, volunteers to donate part of their liver for transplantation. The donor is carefully evaluated by the team to make sure no harm will come to the donor or recipient.”

“Auxiliary transplantation involves part of the liver of a healthy adult donor (living or cadaver) being transplanted into the recipient. The patient’s diseased liver remains intact until the auxiliary piece regenerates and assumes function. The diseased liver may then be removed.”

Last year a team of doctors from Apollo Hospitals – Centre for Liver Disease & Transplantation (CLDT) successfully carried out a Multi-Visceral on multiple patients courtesy of a cadaver individual. Liver transplant which is normally used for a single recipient, but occasionally split to benefit an adult and a child, on this occasion was split for two adults, a feat that is rarely achieved. In doing so the hospital group became the first to perform such an operation in India and with an individual suffering intestinal failure since childhood. The case was also the first where the abdominal wall was transplanted over and above the intestines in-order to overcome the difference in size between the donor and recipient’s abdomens.


Apollo’s comprehensive liver transplant care programme aims to provide effective health care by connecting to people dealing with liver disease. A successful liver transplant, ably supplemented by Apollo’s care and commitment affords a fresh lease of life and puts the smile back on your face as you return to normalcy.

Apollo hospitals have the fastest growing Liver Transplant program in India with the biggest cadaver program for liver. Apollo hospitals in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bangalore offer liver transplant surgeries thus making India’s largest liver transplant network centres in India

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi successfully completed 200 Liver Transplant cases of Pakistani patients, in November 2011. With a success rate of over 90%, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has created a milestone in the history of medicine by becoming the first hospital in the country to reach the 200 mark for patients from a single foreign country.

Over 500 Liver Transplants performed with a success rate of 90%.Apollo Hospitals performs 537 liver, kidney and heart transplants in 238 days making ours the second busiest transplant program in the world.