Mumbai’s first small bowel transplant successful, patient discharged after three weeks in hospital

After the first bowel transplant in Pune at Jupiter hospital two years back, Dr Gaurav Chaubal along with a team of doctors performed Mumbai’s first small bowel transplant at Global Hospital in the state capital. The patient, who was admitted for surgery on May 18, was discharged on Wednesday.

Donation of small bowel is important to treat people who suffer from bowel failures caused by twisting of the bowel, birth defects, or when a part of the bowel tissue dies, Dr Chaubal, the director of liver, pancreas, intestine transplant programme and Hepato-Pancreato- Biliary surgery at Global Hospital, Parel, told The Indian Express.

Small bowel transplant, a complex and rare surgery, has been conducted approximately 12-18 times in India so far. More than 50 per cent of these surgeries were conducted in Maharashtra alone and this is the first time the surgery has been conducted in Mumbai.

“Two years ago, we had done Pune’s first bowel transplant on a man at Jupiter hospital and he is doing fine,” Dr Chaubal, who has performed seven such surgeries so far along with his team, said.

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The latest case pertains to Anirban, a 46-year-old patient from Kolkata, who experienced severe abdominal pain in April, which was diagnosed as Superior Mesenteric Artery Thrombosis leading to Bowel Gangrene for which he was treated at a local hospital. He underwent resection anastomosis and jejunostomy on April 17. He was on parenteral nutrition since then and was listed with Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) in May. An alert was received on May 18 after which the team set out on a retrieval process.

Dr Chaubal said, “The patient has shown phenomenal progress post-surgery and has fully recovered. I urge people to come forward and donate organs for those who are in need. This might give them a new hope to live their lives.”

Bowel failure is a condition in which a person’s bowel is not able to absorb enough nutrients from food. It is most often caused by either short bowel syndrome or a non-functioning bowel. Intestinal transplants are very complex and rare across the world and very few doctors have specialisation in such transplants. Small bowel is a complex organ and transplants are prone to rejection, Dr Chaubal said.

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