Archana Shedge, a 34-year old from Pune can breathe easy now. She is virtually back from a serious condition that affected her lungs and was surviving on external supply of oxygen. Both her lungs were damaged.

A rare lung transplantation performed by doctors at the Yashoda Hospitals, here, has brought cheer and life into this woman. Led by A.G.K. Gokhale, Chief Cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access surgeon and senior consultant anaesthetist, G. Subramanyam, the 30-member team at the city hospital successfully transplanted the lung on September 8.

Archana was suffering from a condition called interstitial fibrosis. Under this condition, both the lungs become stiff and oxygen does not go into the blood through the lungs. On September 8, relatives of a brain-dead patient agreed to donate organs.

Immediately, Gokhale and team removed the lungs and undertook the transplant of the right lung, which took 14 hours. The next day, to the relief and delight of the doctors, the new lung started functioning. Archana was taken off ventilator after 24 hours and she started talking.

This is the first lung transplant successfully done in the State, the hospital said.

Explaining the problem, Gokhale told newspersons that when the lungs get damaged, patients find it difficult to perform regular activities and get breathless even while walking small distances. For many patients, drugs do not help. Lung transplant is the only option in some cases.

He said the patient was evaluated thoroughly. The case was discussed through tele-video with lung transplant team at DeBakey Heart and Lung center, Houston, Texas, before the decision was taken to opt for the surgery.

Yashoda Hospitals has developed facilities to undertake lung as well as heart transplants. Among the other main doctors involved in the surgery were Viswanath, Dilip Ratti and anaesthetists, Madhav and Venu.

Somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 21, 2012)
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