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Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital launches Western India’s first liver transplant centre in Mumbai

Dedicated team with a cumulative experience of over 700 liver transplants will provide care to thousands suffering from liver disorders

Mumbai, 17th Feb 2013: Adding another centre of excellence to its already existing specialties, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai today launched a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art comprehensive Centre for Liver Transplant, providing Western India with its only such centre.

The centre is a complete unit consisting of expert doctors specially trained to provide comprehensive care to all patients across the entire spectrum of liver disorders involving dedicated and full time specialist surgeons, physicians (hepatologists), anaesthetists, radiologists and intensivists supported by dedicated operation theatres, a dedicated Liver ICU and other high-tech infrastructure and equipments necessary for such complex procedures.

The unit was launched by Padma Shri Dr. Tehemton E. Udwadia, eminent Gastrointestinal Surgeon, at the convention centre of the hospital.

Ms. Tina Ambani said at the inauguration: “The focus of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital has always been to provide best medical treatment with emphasis on bringing world class care to patients in Mumbai. Kokilaben Hospital constantly endeavours to cover various gaps both in technology as well as clinical deliverables that exist in Mumbai and indeed in Western India. The efforts in this direction were initiated first in September 2009 when hospital launched centre for Children’s Heart followed by centre for Sports Medicine in October 2010 and again in 2012 setting up the Robotic Surgery centre.”

She further added “I feel blessed with the launch of this unit that will give hope to patients who need not travel to other parts of the country for critical liver-related treatments such as transplantation.”

The proficient team of doctors is headed by Dr. Vinay Kumaran who has been brought in from one of the pioneering liver transplant facilities in India. Dr. Vinay Kumaran has over a decade of experience involving over 700 liver transplants. In past 2 years, he has independently performed over 150 living donor liver transplants with no mortality.  

Commending the hospital’s efforts, Padma Shri Dr. Tehemton E. Udwadia said: “The medical fraternity has often contended the lack of dedicated liver facility in Mumbai, but we attributed it to high cost and the present visiting - doctors models that cannot support the comprehensive liver transplant care which is critical for the survival of patients, as Living Donor Liver Transplants (LDLTs) require specialised and comprehensive centres for the success of the procedure.”

He further complimented Ms. Tina Ambani for her vision in setting up Kokilaben Hospital on a full time consultant model and expresses that the team picked by the hospital is well endowed and experienced not only to operate but also to provide the best post-treatment care to the patients.

The hospital is the first in Western India to be able to offer both Living Donor and Deceased (Cadaver) Donor Liver Transplants for adults as well as children with end-stage liver disease. The unit also offers Emergency Liver Transplants for patients with Acute Fulminant Liver Failure.

Dr. Vinay Kumaran, Head, HPB and Liver Transplant Surgery, Kokilaben Hospital, addressing the gathering highlighted some of the details which are not commonly known. He said, “It has been estimated that about 2,00,000 Indians die of liver failure every year. In an ideal world, most of these would be candidates for a life-saving liver transplant. Around 25,000 liver transplants need to be done every year in India. However about 1,100 transplants were performed in India that too mostly in Delhi and centres in south India.”

He also echoed Padma Shri Dr. Tehemton E. Udwadia considered view that it was because the present visiting model system did not offer scope for a comprehensive centre to be established. He further added, “The need for liver transplant in the Western India, including Mumbai, is estimated to be about 5000 - a demand almost impossible to meet through cadaveric organ donation, emphasising the importance of the LDLT team.”

It is interesting to note that a normal liver is unique organ which has a huge reserve capacity, meaning that even 25% of the liver can do the work normally done by the whole liver. It also has a capacity to regenerate -- if 75% of the liver was to be removed, the remaining 25% would grow rapidly and soon become full sized. These unique properties are utilized in Living Donor Liver Transplantation. In essence, the diseased liver of the patient is removed and a part of the donor’s liver is transplanted into the patient. Both the remaining liver of the donor and the part transplanted grow rapidly to full size.

“The centre of excellence for a comprehensive Living Donor Liver Transplant Program, being set up by Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital’s was the best way to meet the requirement of transplants for the suffering patients”- further added Dr. Kumaran.

Dr. Vinay Kumaran exhorted the gathered doctors to advise their patient community of the uniqueness of this centre and also assured them, on behalf of Kokilaben Hospital, that he and his team are committed to make a difference in this part of the country in the treatment of liver failures.

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