Taipei hospital achieves liver transplant milestone
Central News Agency
2014-04-28 10:31 PM
Taipei, April 28 (CNA) Medical teams at Taipei Veterans General Hospital completed the first living-donor domino liver transplant in Taiwan in late 2013, saving two lives during a 12-hour operation, the hospital said Monday during a presentation of the results. Six years ago, the hospital's liver transplant team performed the first domino liver transplant in Taiwan using a liver from a deceased donor with a successful outcome, and it built on that feat on Dec. 25, 2013, this time using part of a liver from a live donor.

Domino liver transplantation refers to a procedure in which part of a donor's liver is transplanted into a second person who then donates part of his or her liver to a third person. The idea is that the second person's liver may not function in his or her own body, but can still function in the body of another patient with a different kind of problem. One of those receiving a liver transplant in this case was a man surnamed Chen who began experiencing weakness and numbness in his leg in January 2012 and was later diagnosed with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP). A liver transplant helps patients with FAP to control their illness. Three medical teams consisting of 20 doctors first took part of the left lobe of the liver of Chen's son and transplanted it into the father.

They then took part of the right lobe of Chen's liver and transplanted it into a woman in her 50s surnamed Huang, who had liver cancer. Originally suffering from hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis, she was judged to need a liver transplant after being rushed to the hospital in June 2012 when she lost consciousness due to liver failure and was found to have a tumor in her liver. Demand for liver transplants is high and cannot be met by the supply of organs donated by the deceased, while regulations covering living-donor liver transplants are strict, leading to a bottleneck in liver transplants, said Loong Che-chuan, head of the hospital's Department of Surgery. In this case, the domino liver transplant has so far been successful, Loong. said. More than 1,000 domino liver transplants have been performed around the world, he said. (By Lung Pei-ning and Evelyn Kao)

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