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Saddam’s air marshal gets liver transplant surgery at city hospital

A 63-year-old man recently underwent a liver transplant surgery at a hospital in the national capital. Fairly routine. But what has raised interest in this case is not just a tale of medical brilliance, but that the patient, Abdul Karim Darvesh, is a former lieutenant of  Iraq’s former president Saddam Hussein.

The surgery took place at the city’s BLK Super Speciality Hospital. Darvesh, was an air marshal in the Iraqi army during Saddam Hussein’s reign. He had been suffering from liver cancer with 90 per cent damage to his liver.

Sanjay Singh Negi, director HPB (Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary) and liver transplantation surgery said, 'Investigation into Darvesh’s case and CT scan confirmed that he was harbouring a cancer along with cirrhosis of liver. This required immediate liver transplant surgery from a compatible donor.'
Anmar Abdul Karim, Darvesh’s eldest son was evaluated for liver donation. After an in-depth investigation it was decided that he was suitable to be the donor.

Negi added, 'The surgery lasted for about 22 hours, with a team of seven doctors working in shifts. The surgery involved taking out the right lobe of the liver from the donor and implanting it in the recipient.'

Such surgeries are associated with risks such as bleeding, rejection of the liver by the donor and even death. A thorough investigation is thus necessary, keeping in mind the risk factors for the donor and the recipient. 'The surgery was successful,' added Negi.
Both donor and patient are undergoing a smooth recovery.

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