Liver transplant on IGIMS to-do list

Hospital plans to offer surgery at fraction of what it costs in Delhi

By Shuchismita Chakraborty
  • Published 30.01.17

Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) is now eyeing another first after recently introducing kidney transplant facilities in the state.

Liver transplant facilities - next on the hospital's agenda - are still not available anywhere in Bihar.

Hospital director N.R. Biswas on Sunday confirmed that IGIMS would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Delhi-based Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). "We have already sent the MoU paper to the hospital. Once signed, a team of IGIMS doctors would be sent to the Delhi-based hospital to take training in liver transplant surgery," he said, adding that ILBS had already given in-principle consent to the training.

At present, patients from Bihar in need of liver transplant surgery, visit ILBS or All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, for which they have to shell out around Rs 20 lakh. According to Biswas, IGIMS would charge patients less than what they had to pay at the Delhi-based healthcare facilities for the transplant surgery.

According to IGIMS officials, necessary infrastructure would be set up after the training of the doctors.

"The instrument used in normal surgeries cannot be used in liver transplant. Tender would be floated to buy necessary instruments after the training. That would require nod from the state authorisation committee, which works under the health department."

"Liver transplant is totally different and is the most cumbersome procedure among all organ transplant-related surgeries. While a kidney transplant takes around three to four hours, that of liver takes much longer," said hospital additional medical superintendent Manish Mandal.

Mandal added that IGIMS had already formed a team of doctors to undergo training. Doctors of gastrointestinal surgery, gastromedicine, histopathology, radiology and anaesthesia disciplines are involved in a liver transplant surgery.

Talking about permissions for the liver transplant facility, Biswas, said: "IGIMS has taken the permission of the health department last month (December 2016) to form the brain dead declaration committee. We have already formed the committee. This will now allow us to use organs of brain dead patients in the transplant surgery. In liver transplant, using organs of brain dead patients is a better option because there is a huge risk involved in extracting organs from live donors because it increases the life risk of the donor. So we are happy that we have already achieved a big step towards starting the liver transplant facility at the hospital," said Biswas.