Hyderabad: A total of 30 patients, including seven who had tested positive for Covid-19, underwent liver transplant successfully at the Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Lakdikapul here since the lockdown was relaxed in May last year.
According to doctors, in two instances, both the donor and the recipient were found positive for coronavirus.
During the Covid-19 lockdown and the subsequent months, a total of 48 patients were in need to undergo liver transplant on an early basis. Out of them, 23 patients were under regular medical supervision. They didn’t contract Covid-19 infection and underwent successful liver transplants. Seven patients who had tested positive for Covid also successfully underwent a liver transplant and survived.
“Between June and December last year, we have performed 30 liver transplant procedures at our hospital with a 100 per cent success rate. Among these, seven recipients and three live donors were Covid-19 positive; and in two instances, both donors and recipients were found positive for coronavirus. Patients who were found positive were put through prescribed medical care and the transplant was done once they turned negative for Covid-19 virus,” said Dr Raghavendra Babu, Clinical Head and Senior Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon, Gleneagles Global Hospitals.
The doctor said it is important for people to note that liver transplant can be performed on patients who are cured of Covid-19.
According to an observation made by the transplant team at the hospital, nearly 50 per cent patients in need of emergency or early liver transplant, who did not undergo the procedure due to the fear of contracting Covid-19 virus or delayed the procedure on turning Covid-19 positive just before transplant surgery, died in 2020.
“When the condition of the liver worsens, transplant is the only option before a patient, and any delay in undergoing transplant could be fatal. Patients and their family members must realise that delaying the procedure due to the fear of contracting coronavirus or other related reasons, will prove costly,” said Dr Chandan Kumar K.N., Senior Consultant Hepatologist, Gleneagles Global Hospitals.
Clinical features of Covid-19 patients are highly diverse from pulmonary symptoms to neurological manifestations. Coronavirus positive patients admitted to hospitals have increased liver enzymes as a common problem, yet it can be rectified. For post-liver transplant patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms are recommended to continue with immunosuppression medication. Considering these aspects, patients must not delay from undergoing liver transplant surgery in case doctors recommend it to be performed immediately, the doctors added.