Tuesday, May 24 2022


Military hospital performs medical first

Update: November, 24/2021 - 08:00


The Hà Nội-based 108 Military Central Hospital has successfully performed a laparoscopic living donor surgery. — Photo courtesy of the hospital

HÀ NỘI — In a medical first for Việt Nam, surgeons at the 108 Military Central Hospital have performed a liver transplant from a live donor using a non-invasive technique. 

During the five-hour laparoscopic surgery, a section of the right liver from the donor was transferred to the recipient. The patient is recovering well after the operation. 

Colonel Lê Văn Thành, Head of the hospital’s Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery was the lead surgeon during the transplant. 

He said: “This is considered one of the most complex surgical techniques performed by laparoscopic surgery, requiring a high level of experience and modern equipment.”

Unlike open surgery that requires a large incision to access the liver, the laparoscopic procedure is performed with surgical tools and a camera inserted through a few half-inch holes in the abdomen of the living donor. Once the piece of the liver is dissected, the surgeon retrieves the graft through a small incision below the navel. 

The minimally invasive technique has many benefits for live donors. Postoperative paid is reduced, recovery is quicker and scarring is much smaller. 


Surgeons are performing the laparoscopic living donor surgery for a liver transplant - the first of its kind in Việt Nam. Photo The courtesy of the hospital 

The donor left the hospital in good health with normal liver function six days after the surgery. 

After 10 days, the recipient’s liver was functioning well, Thành said.

The liver recipient reportedly could eat well, walk and do personal activities on his own.

Thành added: “Currently, in the world, few hepatobiliary and liver transplantation centres in countries with developed medicine such as the US, Europe, Japan, and South Korea can perform laparoscopic living donor surgery for a liver transplant.”

Thành said that although Việt Nam performed the liver transplantation technique later than many countries in the region and around the world until now Vietnamese doctors have completely mastered this technique. 

The number of successful liver transplants is increasing year by year, helping to restore life and normal health to many patients with end-stage liver diseases, and at the same time, the cost of liver transplantation in Việt Nam is lower than that in other countries.

Statistics show that in Việt Nam, the number of patients with liver diseases is very high as there are about 2,000-2,500 cases of end-stage liver disease in need of liver transplantation yearly. 

Currently, 108 Central Military Hospital performs about 40-50 liver transplants yearly. The number of such operations is expected to increase to 100-150 cases per year with various types of advanced transplant techniques to be deployed.

Therefore, the first successful application of laparoscopic living donor surgery for a liver transplant at the military hospital marked a new step forward in the field of liver transplantation, contributing to improving the quality of life. — VNS



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