KARACHI: Iranian and Pakistani surgeons have performed seven successful liver transplants at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in a week, which the SIUT officials on Monday described as a week of great success and good omen for the organisation.

“Successful living donor liver transplant of seven patients was performed at the SIUT in the past week,” said a senior official at the institute.

He said the transplant surgeries were jointly performed by two surgeons from Iran and their colleagues affiliated with the Pakistani institution.

They said the Iranian surgeons from Shiraz were on a visit to the country to perform similar surgeries at the SIUT.

Dr Adib Rizvi says 100,000 surgeries can be achieved every year through organ donation

Officials said the Shiraz Centre of Transplantation was one of the largest of its kind in the region. They said the Iranian doctors’ visit was part of a collaborative programme between the two medical institutions.

“So far, 15 living donor liver transplants have been carried out successfully under this initiative,” said an SIUT official. He said liver transplants were part of a regular feature that were organised under the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation and aimed at sharing expertise and enhancing professional skills of doctors.

“All the surgeries were free of cost as a part of the institute’s philosophy to treat free with dignity,” said the official.

The patients included two minors aged 10 and 11, while the remaining patients were adults.

Officials said all patients represented the low-income group who had travelled from the southern parts of Punjab, Balochistan and other districts of Sindh. “They were in no position to bear the heavy cost of liver transplant surgeries privately.”

Officials at the hospital said donors were close blood relatives of patients, for instance parents, spouses and siblings who “are doing well.”

“The living donor of liver transplant can fulfil the need of only a small portion of liver patients,” said the official.

SIUT director Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi said an estimated 100,000 liver transplants were required every year and “this can only be achieved through deceased organ donation where the patients dying in ICU on ventilators can donate kidneys and liver after family’s consent”.

The SIUT had earlier carried out liver transplants from three deceased organ donors and saved the lives of six patients who were suffering end-stage organ failure. Experts said deceased organ donation could save up to 200,000 patients of end-stage organ failure every year.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2018

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