Pune team of doctors carry out first pancreas kidney transplant surgery

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PUNE,Nov15: A team of doctors has carried out the state’s first combined pancreas-kidney transplant in Pune.

The complex surgery on a 28-year-old management professional suffering from type I diabetes for 18 years has enabled him to take insulin shots to control blood sugar levels.

The simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant although common in western countries is rare in India. The transplant in Pune could be the seventh or the eighth one in the country, doctors said.

The donor, a 16-year-old boy who met with a road accident on November 4 and was declared brain dead the next day, gave his liver, kidneys and pancreas that helped save the lives of four persons. The liver has been successfully transplanted into a 60-year-old man suffering from

The liver has been successfully transplanted into a 60-year-old man suffering from end-stage liver disease for the last four years.

During the pancreas-kidney transplant, doctors did not have to remove any diseased organs from the recipient’s body. They placed the new kidney on the lower left side of the abdomen and connected it to nearby blood vessels and the intestines. The ureter was attached to the bladder. On the lower right side of abdomen, the pancreas was connected to blood vessels and the intestines so that secreted insulin is passed in the intestines for metabolism.

“The recipient has two pancreas and three kidneys in his body. It is an established and evidence-based practice where doctors do not remove the diseased organs (like damaged pancreas and a kidney in the man’s case) and instead create a new place in the body for the donated healthy organs and have a new connection for them to function normally,” multi-organ transplant surgeon Vrishali Patil said.

She added that the patient was recovering and his diabetes has been reversed and would be discharged in a day or two.

Patil carried out the transplant at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital on November 6. “Post surgery, the man’s condition is completely stable. All his deteriorating parameters are within healthy ranges. His blood sugar level is absolutely normal but he has been allowed to eat sweets only in moderation,” she added.

 “I am gorging on sweets now and feel relived. The surgery has restored my confidence and given me a new lease of life,” the man diagnosed with type I diabetes when he was just 10 years old said.
His condition had deteriorated in the last five years. “The man’s kidneys had started failing after years of diabetes. He was on periodic dialysis treatment. The unstable and uncontrolled diabetes could either drastically drop or spike dangerously at the slightest variation of insulin doses. He has been lately diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Besides, functioning of his heart had also taken a beating. He was losing his nerve sensation. The transplant has simply given him a new lease of life,” Patil added.
Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital got the licence for the pancreas transplant five months ago. “We have been waiting for a fitting donor since then. Our first attempt failed three months ago when a brain dead patient’s family consented to donate his pancreas along with other vital organs. But upon examination, our doctors found that his pancreas was unfit for transplant as its vital function of insulin secretion had failed. Currently, we have five more patients enrolled for pancreas transplant. Our is the only certified pancreas transplant unit in Maharashtra,” cancer surgeon Dhananjay Kelkar, medical director of DMH, said.
Besides Patil, the pancreas transplant team at DMH comprises certified multi-organ transplant surgeon Ninad Deshmukh, transplant physicians Sachin Palnitkar and Vishnu Biradar, transplant nephrologists Atul Mulay and Tushar Dighe and transplant intensivist Prasad Akole.
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