Young patient saved by new liver transplant technique

March, 25/2022 - 16:13
Five-year-old Đ.N.M was diagnosed with liver cancer and went under an operation to replace his left liver lobe on March 17.

 

Đ.N.M. quickly recovered after receiving a liver transplant from his aunt. — Photo 108 Military Central Hospital

HÀ NỘI — Five-year-old Đ.N.M was diagnosed with liver cancer and went under an operation to replace his left liver lobe on March 17.

He is the youngest patient ever to receive a liver transplant with a sophisticated medical condition at the 108 Military Central Hospital in Hà Nội. 

The five-year-old was diagnosed with a rare malignant hepatoblastoma in July 2021 and underwent a hepatectomy at HCMC's 2nd Children's Hospital.

After the operation, cancer still spread to the remaining parts of the liver. Đ.N.M. then went through 10 cycles of chemotherapy in Thailand, but the tumour did not only respond to treatment but continued to grow faster.

The PET/CT scan in Thailand showed that the prognosis for the boy was not favourable. After discussions, doctors concluded that a liver transplant was the only way to save him.

The family then returned to Việt Nam to 108 Military Central Hospital for a liver transplant, where the boy's aunt agreed to be the donor.

"When I gave my liver to save my nephew, it was like giving birth to another child," she said.

Colonel Lê Văn Thành, Deputy Director of the Institute of Digestive Surgery of 108 Military Central Hospital, said: "This is one of the youngest patients ever to receive a liver transplant at our hospital."

"The boy's condition is weak: weighing less than 15kg due to 10 continuous chemotherapy treatments. After chemotherapy, his bone marrow was suppressed, and he had conditions such as anaemia, and decreased white blood cells."

After consultation, the liver transplant team performed laparoscopic surgery to remove segments II & III of the left liver from a living donor (the patient's aunt) to perform a liver transplant for the patient.

Laparoscopic graft surgery is one of the most problematic techniques, requiring experienced surgeons and modern equipment and machinery.

This method brings many benefits to liver donors, such as less invasive intervention helping to reduce postoperative pain better than open surgery, faster recovery time, and providing the same results as an open surgery without the scars.

The donor can be discharged from the hospital about 5-6 days after surgery.

After 7 hours, the transplant operation was a success. The five-year-old is now stabilised with good liver function and normal vital signs.

He was transferred to the Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery for continued treatment.

This is the third time the 108 Military Central Hospital has successfully performed laparoscopic surgery to conduct a liver transplant.

As this technique can only be achieved in countries with advanced medical facilities such as the United States, Japan and Korea, success by the 108 Military Central Hospital is a giant leap for liver transplants in Việt Nam.

It will open up new opportunities for more patients to have a better life. — VNS

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