Another first for Kochi's AIMS: small bowel transplantation

In what is said to be the first surgery of its kind in Kerala, doctors at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in Kochi successfully carried out a small bowel transplantation.

The surgery, lasting six hours, was performed on a 37-year-old woman, Seena Shojan of Irinjalakuda, on 5 January. The patient had undergone multiple 'small bowel resection' surgeries during the last six years, doctors said.

The normal length of the small bowel is 5-6 metres. A normal human being requires at least two metres of small bowel for survival. Seena had only 96 cm length of the small bowel. For the last one month, she was in critical stage and the only option for her was transplantation, the hospital said.

The patient's condition now is stable. Though she has started taking normal diet, the transplanted small bowel will take about two months to gain all its normal functions, hospital sources said.

During this period she will be under strict monitoring.

The transplantation was possible thanks to the decision of the family of a 38-year-old woman who was declared brain dead at another hospital following an accident.

Her family gave consent to donate her heart, kidneys, liver, small bowel and two corneas. Small bowel, heart and liver transplantations were performed at the Amrita Hospital.

While a 45-year-old patient, suffering from end stage heart disease received the heart, the liver was transplanted in a woman suffering from acute liver failure.

The organ donation was facilitated by the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing (KNOS), the state government's Nodal Agency for organ retrieval and sharing.

Last week the same hospital was in the news for having carried out India's first, and the world's 111th, hand transplant (See: Kochi's AIMS docs carry out India's first hand transplant) in a marthon 16-hour surgery.