1st successful lung transfer in state

Rohit Shedge’s happiness knew no bounds as he thanked the doctors who saved his wife Archana’s life. Archana Shedge became the first patient to undergo a successful lung transplantation surgery in the state. It is one of the very few cases of lung transplant surgery in India, although about 2,000 such operations are performed across the world annually.

The 17-hour lung transplant surgery was performed on September 8 by a team of cardiothoracic surgeons headed by Dr A.G.K. Gokhale at Yashoda Hospital in the city. Ms Hegde, originally from Pune, was diagnosed with fibrosis about two years ago and required external oxygen supply to live. Her only option was lung transplant. Dr Gokhale said they had been sprucing up lung transplant infrastructure at the hospital for a few years and after evaluation, Archana was put on the donor recipient list.

She had to wait for two months before a donor was found. “We were informed by Mo-han Foundation that a patient at KIMS had died of brain haemorrhage and the family had agreed to donate the patient’s organs. We immediately evaluated the donor lungs and prepared for the surgery,” he added. The patient’s right lung was transplanted in an extremely tedious procedure. Ms Hegde, who is still on oxygen support, will be off it shortly. The first six months will require her to take a lot of precautions to avoid rejection of the transplanted lung by the body. Dr Gokhale said that after six months, she will be able lead a normal life, adding that if precautions are taken, she can live longer.

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