CHENNAI: In a rare event in Chennai, two live kidney transplants were simultaneously performed with beneficial family members exchanged kidneys after kidneys turned incompatible within the family.
A living donor kidney "SWAP transplant" - a procedure where a living kidney donor, if incompatible with a recipient in his/her own family, exchanges kidneys with another donor-recipient pair that was performed at a city hospital recently.
These live donor transplants occur simultaneously, as it is essentially an exchange of organs between two families, who cannot donate to their own family members because of the blood group mismatch.
A 56-year-old mother, wanted to donate a kidney to her 30-year-old son, who had suffered kidney failure and was on dialysis at Fortis Malar Hospital. In another instance, a 58-year-old wife, who wanted to give a kidney to her 65-year-old husband as one of his kidneys had failed. However, there was a mismatch with their respective recipient family members, due to blood group incompatibility.
The team of doctors assessed the case and found that the organs could be swapped between the two families as the blood groups matched that way. Hence, the “swap transplant procedure” was recommended and both the families agreed and gave their consent.
The team from Fortis Malar was led by Dr Prabhu Kanchi, lead transplant nephrologist along with other specialists. Commenting on the success of the swap transplant, Dr Prabhu Kanchi, Lead Nephrologist, Fortis Malar, Chennai, said, “The benefits of live donor swap transplant is that both the recipients are able to lead normal lives instead of living through a long, tedious dialysis procedure, while also waiting for a matched kidney from a deceased donor. Many a time, we are unable to proceed ahead with a transplant, due to a good match not being available. The costs and time involved can be reduced significantly if there is a swap option."
Following the procedure, the condition of both patients is stable. Dr Kapali Neelamekam, Head of organ transplant and GI surgery added, “Patients wait for 3 to 5 years for a deceased donor organ if there is no compatible donor in the family. Swap transplant is a boon to these patients if the transplant teams help them find a suitable pair. It minimizes the shortfall of kidneys and enables the increase of transplant numbers legally”.