Patients returning to healthy and normal life
By Svetlana Savkova
The Cardiology Republican Scientific and Practical Centre hosted the 11 hour operation, with two brigades of cardiology surgeons working to transplant a donor heart to a 30 year old man. Later, colleagues from the Republic Scientific and Practical Centre for Organs and Tissue Transplantation undertook his kidney transplant.
According to Belarus’ chief cardio-surgeon, Yuri Ostrovsky, the operation went according to plan; it has taken a year to find a suitable donor, as the transplantation of two or more organs requires each to be in perfect condition — even more so than for a single transplant. The patient’s heart and kidney condition was such that a single transplant would have been unsuccessful and thus wasteful. His heart condition didn’t allow the transplant of a kidney alone, while his kidney was almost useless, requiring dialysis three times a week (artificial cleaning of the blood). However, he is now stabilising and should be able to return to a usual ward with time.
Simultaneous double transplants are still rare worldwide. Russia recently achieved its first, explains Mr. Ostrovsky. He tells us, “We began our preparations almost at the same time but our Russian colleagues managed to find a suitable donor earlier.” He hopes that such combined transplantations will become more common in the future. Among the most difficult combinations are heart and liver, and heart and lungs; both are now on the agenda for Belarusian surgeons.
Belarus currently leads among CIS countries for the volume of transplants achieved: 241 in 2011.