Doctors successfully implant liver on underweight, 3-yr-old

In a rare case of its kind, an underweight, three-year-old child was given a new lease on life when doctors successfully implanted a liver in him following a 12-hour surgery in a Mumbai hospital on December 12, last year. 

Shubham Gurav, who weighed barely 10 kgs, had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of liver with an organ transplant being his only hope of life. But, unwilling to give up on him, doctors at the Sahyadri Hospitals successfully matched the boy’s father’s liver and – with a team preparing for this rare surgery on a 3D Model of the donor liver on CT scan --transplanted a slice of it in the child using ‘High Magnification Microscopic Surgery.’

Other problems that were overcome included transplant anesthetists - Dr Manish Pathak and Dr Dinesh Babu -- facing a huge challenge in maintaining the child under anesthesia for 12 hours because of Shubham’s tiny veins and wind pipe. 

Due to this reason, the prescription was given in milliliters and along with small doses of medicines in managing fluids and blood product administration. 

Earlier, unable to meet expenses when the child’s unexplained weight loss, failure to thrive, loss of appetite and abdominal swelling followed by tests confirmed liver cirrhosis and need for a liver transplant, the father, Ajay Gurav, who works in an electrical company in Mumbai – was fortunate to find an NGO that raised funds and contact with Sahyadri Hospitals to successfully carry out the operation. 

Describing Liver Cirrhosis in children as a rare disease, the lead surgeon Dr Bipin Vibhute – a Liver Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgeon -- said: “This was a challenging case due to Shubham’s weight and tender age, as a paediatric liver transplant – being more complicated than an adult liver transplant -- requires multi-disciplinary approach, cutting-edge infrastructure and experienced staff who are specialised in dealing with pediatric patients. Apart from surgery, the major challenge is the intensive care in the post-operative period. Both father and son are now well and we are proud of the entire team who has made this possible. Today, Shubham walks freely, plays and smiles a lot!” 
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