VN’s first living-donor lung transplant succeeds

February, 22/2017 - 22:40

Việt Nam’s doctors have for the first time successfully conducted a lung transplant from alive donor.

The first lung transplant from two living donors in Việt Nam at 103 Military Hospital. - Photo courtesy of Việt Nam Military Medical University
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – For the first time, Vietnamese doctors successfully performed a lung transplant from two living donors, doctors announced yesterday in Hà Nội.

The surgery was conducted on Tuesday by doctors from the 103 Military Hospital, in co-ordination with doctors from the Việt Nam Military Medical University and Japanese experts.

The lung recipient is seven-year-old Ly Chương Bình, an ethnic Dao minority. The lung donors are her father, 28, and her uncle, 30.

Her family is from Na Cạn Village in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang.

Doctors from the Việt Nam Military Medical University said that after the surgery, the donors’ conditions were stable, and the recipient is under supervision with a stable condition.

The surgery lasted about 11 hours.

The Việt Nam Military Medical University is one of the greatest internal organs transplant centres in the country, said Professor Đỗ Tiến Quyết, director of the university.

After success in kidney, liver, heart and pancreas-kidney transplants, the university conducted research on lung transplant last year.

From June to October of last year, the university set up research projects and assigned doctors to share experiences about lung transplant at the Okayaman University Hospital in Japan. The university also invited Japanese experts to come and consult on lung transplants for its students, said professor Quyết.

In November last year, the Ministry of Science and Technology assigned the Việt Nam Military Medical University to implement the project on lung transplant from alive donors and from brain-dead donors. Since then, the university conducted research, prepared infrastructure, equipment, medicines and searched for patients needing lung transplant.

On November 14 last year, the hospital, together with the National Paediatrics Hospital, chose patient Bình, who was diagnosed to suffer from innate bronchiectasis pervasive. Since she was two months old, she’s had trouble in breathing and turned blue while crying. Her respiratory functions were declining, and she needed a lung transplant to survive.

The university joined hands with the Hà Giang People’s Committee, the provincial military command and the Quản Bạ District People’s Committee to give instructions to the patient’s family.

After the family agreed to the proposal, the university reported the case to the Ministry of Health and conducted the surgery.

“Lung transplants are much more difficult than other internal organs transplants; lungs from donors can get injured after being cleansed, so infection during the transfer can lead to respiratory disorders,” said professor Quyết.

One of the most important factors was choosing a proper lung to conduct the transplant, he said.

Professor Quyết said that it was a difficult case, because it was conducted on a very weak patient. Moreover, normal transplants used internal organ from one donor. In this case, the lung was from two donors.

Professor Quyết explained that each person had two lungs, the left lung had two lobes whereas the right lung had three lobes. Lung could expand very well, so after doctors cut one lobe, the remaining part would retain the full lung cavity.

Lung transplants will be given to patients with innate and chronic lung diseases and other treatment is not effective.

In an event held by the Ministry of Health last year, Deputy Minister of Health Lê Quang Cường said that during the past year, internal organ transplant was one of the most important achievements in the health sector.

The first kidney transplant in Việt Nam was conducted on June 4, 1992 at the 103 Minitary Hospital in Hà Nội. The kidney recipient was major Vũ Mạnh Đoan, 40 and the donor was his 28-year-old younger brother. It was a notable milestone in the history of the country’s health sector.

After a hard period of preparation, the first liver transplant was conducted on January 31, 2014 at the 103 Military Hospital. As many as 100 professors and doctors joined the nearly 17-hour surgery on a 10-year-old girl. The donor was her 31-year-old father. Now both father and daughter are in good condition.

Facing the prospect of death from prolonged heart disease, Bùi Văn Nam received heart surgery on June 17, 2010 when he was 48 years old. The donor was a 28-year-old person with dead brain. With the surgery, Việt Nam wrote its name on the world’s heart transplant map.

Doctors from the 103 Military Hospital implemented the first pancreatic transplant for Phạm Thái Huyên, 43 on March 1, 2014. It was also the first multi internal organs transplant as he suffered from declining kidney and receive kidney transplant at the same time. The internal organs were from a traffic accident victim with dead brain.

On September 4, 2015, on a flight transporting six doctors from Hà Nội to HCM City to receive the donated internal organ, doctors of the Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City conducted a surgery to take the heart and liver from a dead-brain person. And then when the heart and liver were maintained and brought to Hà Nội, doctors at the Việt Nam-Germany Hospital got ready for the patients to receive the donated organs. As the internal organs reached the hospital, two surgeries were conducted immediately during the night and completed on the morning of September 5, 2015.

Sad to witness his step-daughter on a kidney machine year after year, stepfather Trương Ngọc Xuân, 51, decided to donate his kidney. However, his kidney was not suitable to his stepdaughter. One year later, doctors informed him that a mother in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Nông wanted to donate her kidney to her daughter, but they are also not suitable. But if the two couples exchanged kidneys, they will both be conformable. The two surgeries were conducted at the same time on January 11 this year. Now the two patients are in good condition. – VNS