INTERNATIONAL ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS-TAINAN, TAIWAN
NCKU Hospital Set A New Record of Living Donor Liver Transplantation in Tainan
Source: Earth Times
TAINAN, Taiwan - (Business Wire) National Cheng Kung University Hospital has set a new record of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in Tainan, Taiwan, when Dr. Yih-Jyh Lin’s medical team, under the supervision of Dr. Pin-Wen Lin, President of NCKU Hospital and Professor of Surgery, successfully performed hepatic transplantation on a female patient suffered in liver cancer with liver donated from her daughter on January 29th, 2010.
The patient has recovered to health and discharged from the hospital on April 1st, 2010. Moreover, the donor, i.e. the patient’s daughter, has got her liver regenerated back to its original size, after 70% of it transplanted to her mother.
About two years ago in August, Mrs. Tsai, 58-year-old, began to suffer from symptoms of jaundice, weight loss and discomfort. She came to National Cheng Kung University Hospital for treatment. With her blood tests, she was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Further abdominal ultrasound examination revealed that she had cirrhosis, splenomegaly and two liver tumors. After ablation therapy by the physicians, the tumors were removed.
However, after one year, Mrs. Tsai started to show complications of liver cirrhosis, including abdominal distention and haematemesis. After computed tomography scan, it was discovered that liver tumor has relapsed and worsened with the emergence of liver cirrhosis, splenomegaly and esophageal variceal bleeding. After the assessments, physicians believed only liver transplantation could save her life.
Dr. Yih-Jyh Lin explained, “If Mrs. Tsai had kept waiting for the corpse’s liver donation, she could have waited for ever. Her body condition would not allow that. After the discussion with the family, we decided to find a living donor. Mrs. Tsai has three daughters and one son. The son, whose height is 173cm and weight is 70kg, first expressed his will to donate his liver to save the mother. However, after the assessment and calculation of computed tomography scan, his left lobe of liver is too small to be safely donated to his mother. If the remaining liver of the donor is too small, his or her life may be at danger after the liver transplantation. After various inspections and assessments prior to the surgery, the youngest daughter was the most suitable liver donor for her mother.”
The surgery took 10 hours and 30 minutes to finish. Dr. Lin said, “The liver transplantation was very successful and the recovery condition of Mrs. Tsai was excellent as well. Her hepatosomatic index and jaundice index have all fell within the normal range. Mrs. Tsai has now left the hospital. The life of her youngest daughter is back to normal as well. Within two months, the liver of the donor has regenerated back to its original size.”
Because Mrs. Tsai has shown acute HCV infection after the surgery, she comes back to the hospital once every week for interferon therapy. Her current detection volume of Hepatitis C virus has dropped to zero. Even though there are some side-effects of interferon therapy, with the encouragement and company of Dr. Lin and the family, Mrs. Tsai is always cooperative.
Mrs. Tsai’s youngest daughter believed the scar on her belly is a smiling mark. It was all worth it to see her mother recover to health. The daughter is less than 155 cm in height and weights less than 50 kg. Dr. Lin mentioned, “After careful assessment, within safe range, even people with slim bodies can make liver donation.”
Dr. Lin further explained, “Currently, there’re approximately 900 people waiting for liver transplant in Taiwan. However, till the end of March, 2010, there’re only 50 people willing to make organ and tissue donation. Among them, only 17 cases meet the conditions of liver donation. The time waiting for the right liver to be transplanted is usually difficult to estimate. With living donor liver transplantation, we can perform transplantation surgery before disease worsens and save lives immediately.”
“The survival rate of a typical adult recipient of living donor liver transplantation is approximately 80% and the mortality rate of the donors is about a dozen people in the world. During the surgical procedure, the physicians not only take care of the patients, they also try to protect the donors to reduce the surgical risk.”
National Cheng Kung University is the only hospital that is capable of performing multiple organ transplants in Tainan, Taiwan. It has set a successful record of living donor liver transplantation, thus marking a new milestone.