Lung transplant patient recovers in just six weeks

October 09, 2019 - 08:20
The success had encouraged doctors to perform further organ transplants in the future,
NVK is discharged from the Việt Đức Hospital on October 4. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Điển from Hà Nội’s outlying district of Chương Mỹ could not believe that her son had miraculously survived a lung transplant, even when she was able to hold him in her arms.

NVK, Điển’s 38-year-old son, was the second patient to undergo the operation at the Hà Nội-based Việt Nam-Germany Hospital, according to Sức khoẻ & Đời sống (Health & Life) newspaper.

K had been suffering from final-stage bronchiectasis for a decade, and he was hooked up to breathing apparatus to survive.

According to Điển, K had been hospitalised countless times for respiratory diseases, and he had not been able to breathe normally for three years.

Without the lung transplant, doctors had given him a year to live.

Fortunately, K received a lung transplant.

The operation took 15 hours on August 12 and he regained consciousness a few days later, but he was only allowed to meet his family three weeks after.

“Happy” was the first word K exclaimed when he met his relatives after the life-changing surgery, his wife Nguyễn Thị Hạnh said.

K's body has adapted to the new lungs well, and now he's breathing without difficulty.

“My son had been treated at Bạch Mai Hospital before. Doctors there said there was no hope. We were desperate at the time, and thought he would die. I am happy now knowing that my son will be discharged soon,” said Điển.

“Before the operation, he was just 41kg. Now he weighs 47kg and has started talking and eating normally,” she added.

According to Nguyễn Hữu Ước, director of Việt Nam-Germany Hospital’s Cardiac and Thoracic Center, post-surgical conditions of organ transplants can be complicated, especially lung transplants as there are many issues including infection control, respiratory care and graft rejection prevention.

In K’s case, his condition stabilised after just 6 weeks of intensive care.

“He will need to have post-surgical examinations to help the new lungs rehab,” said Ước.

The success had encouraged doctors to perform further organ transplants in the future, he added.

In mid-December 2018, Việt Nam-Germany Hospital doctors performed their first lung transplant on a 17-year-old person suffering from final-stage connected tissue disease – a rare form of lung cancer - and severe multiple-organ failure.

Ước said the operation was technically successful. Ten months after the surgery, the patient is receiving intensive care in hospital. — VNS