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India’s youngest liver transplant

The Max Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, where the procedure was performed. Image credit: Binodkpn [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
A five-month-old baby has become the youngest Indian to receive a liver transplant.

Ariana Dey is doing well after a ten-hour-long operation, which took eighteen hours to prepare for. It was like a second birth for the baby who got a new life after her mother donated Ariana part of her liver at the Max Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi. She was suffering from acute liver failure, necessitating a liver transplant.

Doctors in Kolkata had earlier given her just five days, the girl’s father said. Nonetheless, they flew their daughter to Delhi for treatment. “Our aim was to treat her at the earliest with a lifesaving surgery, ensuring her quality of life isn’t impacted in the long run,” said Prof Dr Subhash Gupta, chairman of the Centre for Liver and Biliary Sciences.

“This is probably the only reported case in India of such a young child to have such a severe illness.”

“It was revealed that the baby had acute inner bleeding and her blood clotting ratio was very high i.e. four whereas in normal cases, it is around 0.9 to 1,” Prof Dr Gupta said at a press conference in Delhi. The child’s liver had reportedly lost all viability and function. According to Prof Dr Gupta, “only about 10 percent of cells were left in her tiny liver, so it was almost a total failure.”

The transplant was a complex procedure because of Dey’s age and weight. “In infants, the surgical complexity is immense and post-transplant care is specialised, given their small size,” said consultant Sharat Varma. This is probably the only reported case in India of such a young child to have such a severe illness,” Prof Dr Gupta added. “I have never seen such a case in thirty years of my practise.” Economic pressure added to the stress for Dey’s parents, for whom the operation cost was over Rs 15 lakh according to The National Herald.

Fortunately, the operation was a success. Due to compatibility issues Arian’s father could not donate his liver so her mother donated,, which was resected and modified to fit the child’s size before transplantation. “Post-transplant, Dey did well and showed rapid recovery,” Varma said, adding that the child was discharged from the hospital 22 days after the procedure.

After the surgery, she will lead a normal life,” said Prof Dr Gupta.

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