Bangalore, 27 December 2021: In a rare case, Aster RV Hospital has successfully performed a double lung transplantation in a 30-year-old woman suffering from severe bronchiectasis. According to reports from 2020 only about 200 have been conducted in India. The patient, Kritika, a law researcher by profession, was suffering from bronchiectasis since her childhood which severely affected her quality of life. She suffered from repeated hospital admissions throughout her life due to persistent lung infections, making her oxygen and Bipap dependent.
According to multiple doctor evaluations and recommendations, a lung transplantation surgery would be the best option to significantly improve her quality of life and life expectancy as she was at a high risk of succumbing to severe lung infection. Very few facilities offer this procedure in India as it is a complex surgery that requires specialized technical know-how and training. Lung transplantation surgery is usually conducted through deceased organ donation, making it a challenge for those in need.
Explained Dr. Sandeep Attawar, Chair & Director of Thoracic organ transplants and Assist devices at KIMS Heart & Lung Transplant Institute, “Kritika is a special girl, blessed with a caring family. She has the zest for life, which this crippling lung condition almost threatened to cut short. Her surgery and recovery were expected to be a complex endeavor especially due to the double challenge of a sensitized immune system and her physical frailty. She overcame all this with grit, determination, and the desire to live a normal healthy life”
“Lung conditions which have advanced significantly or continue to progress rapidly despite optimal medical management would require lung transplantation as the only hope. Such conditions would include COPD, Bronchiectasis, Interstitial lung diseases, severe pulmonary hypertension, cystic lung diseases, etc,” said Dr. Pavan Yadav, Lead Consultant – Interventional Pulmonology, Sleep Medicine and Lung Transplantation, Aster RV Hospital.
Bronchiectasis is a condition of the lung where there is damage and resultant scar tissue in the bronchi, which leads to mucus build up in the lungs. In Kritika’s case, this developed as early as childhood. This disease unfortunately cannot be cured completely, but can be managed.
Upon receiving a donor call which was a good match for her she was admitted at Aster RV hospital and she underwent a double lung transplantation which took about 6 hours and after surgery she was shifted to transplant ICU for further monitoring. Providing such complex and comprehensive care under strict isolation precautions is a huge challenge. With Covid infection still lurking around it makes the job more challenging.
“There were also other challenges associated with the surgery, for example patients with extensive bronchiectasis suffer from progressive weight loss and poor BMI. Due to the poor appetite and low albumin content, pulmonary rehabilitation can be a challenge in such patients. She did well during post op period and was weaned off ventilator in 2 days. In view of low body weight and poor nutrition status she needed more rigorous dietary plan and physiotherapy,” elaborated Dr. Pavan.
“It was a major decision for us to take and we were apprehensive about it. But things went smoothly and we decided to go ahead with the surgery after extensive research as it would end a lot of my daughter’s suffering. She is a very strong girl and has been fighting with a smile throughout her life but we know how difficult it has been for her. We placed our trust in our doctor’s hands and we are very happy with the successful surgery, the sensitivity with which we were treated and the care of the hospital staff,” said Kritika’s father.
“I was scared about the surgery but realized it was the best option for my long-term health and the doctors at Aster RV Hospital were reassuring and supportive. Throughout the experience, the nursing staff and doctors went out of their way to make me feel supported and taken care of. I am looking forward to going home and living life anew!” said the patient. She appealed for more people to come forward and register for the donation of organs or opt for the deceased organ donation to give those in need a second chance at life.
Kritika was put on post-transplant care and has recovered smoothly post the surgery.