Asia’s first simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplant performed at Apollo, Chennai

The kidney was donated by the patient’s wife, while the pancreas were harvested from a cadaveric donor.
Asia’s first simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplant performed at Apollo, Chennai
Asia’s first simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplant performed at Apollo, Chennai
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Apollo hospitals performed Asia’s first simultaneous transplant with pancreas from a cadaveric donor and kidney from a live donor, saving the life of a 34-year-old Delhi man.

Hitesh Sindhwani has been living with Type 1 diabetes for the past 22 years and has been on dialysis for the past 18 months.

While simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplants are performed with the organs harvested from the same cadaveric donor, this case brings into focus the other strategies that can be used when the allocation rules for the kidney does not favour diabetics on dialysis.

Hitesh has been on simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPK) for over eight months before the doctors at Apollo suggested a simultaneous cadaveric Pancreas and live-donor kidney transplant (SCPLK).

International data suggest that diabetic patients on dialysis are prone to cardiac complications and have a median survival of 8 years if they do not get a transplant in time.

Addressing a press meet that was held on January 25 in the city, Dr Anil Vaidya, head of Transplantology said, “Triopathy of diabetes affects three different organs: the eyes, neuro system, and the kidneys. This dual transplant does not just help patients come off dialysis but also cures their diabetes that was the root cause of the kidney failure.”

While the technique is done in the other countries, Dr Anil explained that India lacked the expertise until now. “Now that we’ve been able to perform it in Chennai, this proves to be the first in Asia.”

The pancreas from the deceased donor was harvested by Dr Elankumaran and Dr Senthil from Vellore to Chennai while Dr Ananthakrishnan undertook a kidney donor operation in the middle of the night on the patient’s spouse through a robotic procedure at Apollo Hospitals.

“I got clearance from the ethical committee for my kidney transplant from my spouse on October 16 last year. We got the cadaveric pancreas on October 20 after which I immediately flew from Delhi for the procedure. It has been three months now and I’m doing great,” says Hitesh.

Hitesh is completely off insulin and is currently being monitored by the doctors for any signs of rejection.

Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals said, “Tamil Nadu government is very helpful when it comes to cadaver transplants.” She also added that the allocation rules for transplants, however, can be updated based on this latest technology.

Although Apollo performs this procedure at a fraction of a cost when compared to the other countries in the world, Dr Anil added that they are also working out a partnership with the government hospitals to train and equip a unit that can perform such procedures independently. 

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