Doctors at the Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, successfully carried out India’s first-ever double lung transplantation. It is a rare procedure that saved the life of a 23-year-old man. He was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.
It was only the fourth time that a double lung transplant was performed in the country. Doctors said the patient, 23-year-old Rohit from Mahbubabad, had consumed poisonous paraquat, a widely-used, highly toxic contact herbicide, and was battling for his life for a month. The patient was discharged recently and is doing well.
The poison injured the lungs resulting in irreversible pulmonary fibrosis. In such cases, respiratory failure is recognized as the main cause of death with little chance of survival, the hospital said.
The patient was placed on a mechanical ventilator. After that, on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for more than 15 days. With no signs of improvement in the patient, the doctors decided to go in for the double lung transplantation.
"We considered all the possibilities of the success and survival rate of the patient as lung transfer in such conditions is extremely rare across the world, and there is no survivor in India for this condition. After ensuring no poison was in the body, the bilateral lung transplantation was done at Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad.", said Dr Pavan Gorukanti, Director of Yashoda Group.
The patient received the donor lungs from a brain-dead donor under the state-run Jeevandan initiative. The procedure was carried out by the team led by senior interventional pulmonologist Dr. Hari Kishan Gonuguntla along with thoracic and lung transplant surgeons Dr. K.R. Balasubramoniam, Dr Manjunath Bale, Dr Chetan, Dr Sricharan, Dr Vimi Vargehese and others.
"This sort of lung transplantation was successfully performed in India for the first time for this condition. There are only four cases worldwide where the lung transplantation was done. We feel that our case is the longest survivor in India.", said Dr Gonuguntla.
"This case was unique as there is a limitation in the test availability to know the residual amount of paraquat remaining in the body. He was on ECMO for nearly one month and had multiple bloodstream and respiratory infections before transplant and was almost in bed for nearly one month before transplant," said Dr Gonuguntla.