Seven in ten babies born with defective livers die if only their parents sought early intervention

Kuala Lumpur, 09th October 2022: Seven in ten babies born with defective livers will die because of the lack of facilities to treat them, or while overseas medical help is available, their parents were unaware of it.

Biliary Atresia Malaysia Association (BAMA) president Mudzaffar Shah Ali said the parent support group was sad that parents had waited until their children’s medical condition had reached the end-stage before they opted for liver transplant.

“Few are aware that even for organ donors their recoveries would be fast and they would be able to go back to work in three weeks while their organ will grow back to its original size within a short period of a few months,” he said.

Mudzaffar said BAMA had assisted parents of afflicted children or adults to seek treatment both locally and abroad and the more recent cases involving three babies for treatment in New Delhi-based Apollo Hospital which is the acknowledged world’s leading hospital in liver transplant.

He said BAMA’s objective to hold a health talk on liver transplant was to raise the awareness of liver disease and make known the available option of treatment besides urging the government to provide financial support to patients who would be on life-long medication.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, India, has begun providing care and expertise to four Malaysian patients suffering from end-stage liver disease. Careena, a one-year-old baby, recently underwent a life-saving liver transplant procedure after developing liver cirrhosis as a result of an unsuccessful Kasai surgery performed shortly after her birth. Nur, an 8-month-old baby, also required a liver transplant after being diagnosed with hepatic biliary atresia. Both infants were initially treated in their home country, but as their condition deteriorated, they were flown to India and admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi.

Similarly in a span of 8 months, 4 such cases of liver transplants have been successfully treated at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi under the supervision Dr Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, along with his team comprising Dr Arun V, Dr Varun M, Dr Pradeep Kumar (Consultants, Liver Transplant) and Dr Sanjeev Aneja, Dr Purnima Dhar and Dr Chitra (Anaesthetist).

Dr Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said, “Apollo Hospitals has always been on the forefront of ensuring delivery of care to patients in need despite constraints like geographical boundaries. Fortunately, we have been able to help many patients from Malaysia suffering from critical ailments. The youngest child operated was 3.5-month-old and the oldest child operated was 1.8 years old. Significantly, babies weighing barely 0.8 kgs and 10.7 kgs have also had liver transplants at Apollo Hospitals.”

“In all The Apollo Liver Transplant Program, the first successful program in India which was established in 1998 has now performed more than 3950 liver transplants including 458 in children from 20 countries. The success rate is 92 to 94% in the first two years, 85% after five years and 75% after 10 years and is dependent on the patient’s lifestyle choices as well,” he further added. Sanjay, Apollo’s first liver transplant patient, is now a healthy 23-year-old doctor at Apollo. He plans to specialise as a liver transplant surgeon in order to help future patients who receive the same life-saving surgery.

According to Dr Neerav, paediatric liver transplant patients generally have a very good quality of life after their transplant. Paediatric liver transplant patients would need to be on immunosuppressant agents all their lives but at a reduced dose with each passing year.

“The liver is the only organ that can regenerate after being transplanted. The liver can regenerate to 80% after three weeks and over 90% within a year. Thus, after a child’s liver transplant, a very long, high-quality life is to be expected,” he concluded.

About Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, India’s first JCI accredited hospital, is a joint venture between the Government of Delhi and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited. Commissioned in July 1996, it is the third super-specialty tertiary care hospital set up by the Apollo Hospitals Group. Spread over 15 acres, it houses 57 specialties with more than 300 specialists and more than 700 operational beds, 19 operation theatres, 138 ICU beds, round-the-clock pharmacy, NABL accredited laboratories, 24-hour emergency services and an active air ambulance service. Apollo Hospitals Delhi has the leading programmed in kidney and liver transplant in the country. The first successful paediatrics and adult liver transplants in India were performed at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. The hospital is at the forefront of medical technology and expertise. It provides a complete range of latest diagnostic, medical and surgical facilities for the care of its patients.

The Hospital has introduced the most sophisticated imaging technology to India with the introduction of 64 slice CT and 3 Tesla MRI, Novalis Tx and the integrated PET Suite. Indraprastha Apollo has also pioneered the concept of preventive health check programmed and has created a satisfied customer base over decades. The Hospital has been consistently ranked amongst the best 10 hospitals in India by The Week survey for the past few years.

Hospital website – Twitter: @HospitalsApollo