Rare Family Swap

New Delhi, 31st July 2023 A team of Indian doctors performed a rare two-way swap liver transplant, granting a new life to two foreign nationals hailing from Uzbekistan. Overcoming the challenges of ABO incompatibility, the medical team, devised an innovative solution where willing donors exchanged organs to match the blood groups of the recipients. The medical team conducted four simultaneous surgeries, exhibiting exceptional perseverance and achieving a ground-breaking milestone in medical history by saving the lives of both 41-year-old Gulyam and 51-year-old Matlubakhon.

The intricacy of the situation stemmed from the challenging ABO incompatibility between the patients and their designated donors. While Gulyam’s blood group was B, his son, who volunteered to donate, had blood group A. Similarly, Matlubakhon, who also required an urgent transplant, had blood group A, while her sister’s blood group was B.

ABO-incompatible transplants, where the blood type of the donor and recipient are not compatible have a high rate of rejection by the recipient’s body, and this apparent mismatch of blood groups posed a significant obstacle to the success of liver transplants. The immune system recognizes the transplanted organ as foreign and launches an immune response which leads to a potential rejection of the liver and endangers the life of the recipient.

Family swap liver transplants for foreign nationals are extremely rare as it demands the patient and donor to be of the same nationality and the donors being close relative. The procedure also necessitates that both surgeries take place simultaneously. Undeterred by the complexity of the situation, the Indian medical team led by Dr. Abhideep Chaudhary, Vice Chairman & HOD, HPB Surgery, and Liver Transplantation, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital devised an innovative solution to address this life-threatening predicament.

“This remarkable swap liver transplant offered an extraordinary chance for a cure to both recipients who were in dire need of compatible livers. After gaining approval from both families and securing necessary clearances from the authorization committee, our medical team conducted all four surgeries simultaneously. The swap transplant is indeed a challenging and complex procedure both medically as well as logistically, the dedication and skill demonstrated by our medical team comprising of 20 doctors have played a pivotal role in achieving the remarkable result,” said Dr. Chaudhary.