A hospital here has successfully conducted Kerala's first combined pancreas-kidney transplant, the third such in India.
The highly complex surgery was conducted on 35-year-old S. Syed Yunus Shahir, an engineer from Palakkad. The donor was a brain-dead 38-year-old patient.
Thanks to the transplant, Shahir is now eating ice cream at will and is all set to return home after a nearly two-week stay at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).
Ramachandran N. Menon, the surgical gastro transplant surgeon, told IANS that this patient first came to them about two months back and after a series of tests he was cleared for the surgery and then the wait for a donor began.
He said as per the rules of organ transplant and donation, the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing (KNOS), the state government's nodal agency for organ retrieval and sharing, played a key role in facilitating the smooth transfer of pancreas and one kidney from a brain dead person.
"We got the call from the KNOS informing us of the availability of the pancreas and a kidney and we immediately asked Shahir to get admitted and the surgery was performed Aug 17," said Menon.
Elaborating on the condition of Shahir, Menon said he was suffering from type 1 diabetes for the past 19 years and developed diabetes-related complications like retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy and end stage kidney failure over the past two years.
Despite using an insulin pump, he had erratic control of the blood sugar which was preventing from effectively doing his work.
"Today, Shahir is on normal diet, his kidneys are functioning normally and is not on insulin. He is having his favourite ice creams, which were taboo for him. He is rearing to go home," he said.
The first simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant was done in 1966 in the US.