New Delhi: In a first of its kind surgery in India, doctors at a hospital near here have performed a robotic liver transplant surgery to save the life of a four-year-old child.
The surgery was conducted at Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon, the capital`s suburb in Haryana, last month, doctors said here Thursday.
The Da-Vinci robot was used by the doctors on Rahmatullah, 36, who donated 20 percent of his liver to his nephew Ziad. According to doctors, it is only the third robotic live donor surgery in the world.
"Robotic surgery is usually performed for other operations like kidney, heart and gynaecological operations. But it`s use in this liver transplant not only increased the precision, but encouraged the donor by reducing surgery related troubles," said A.S. Soin, chairman of Medanta Liver Institute, who led the team of surgeons.
Ziad was suffering from a rare genetic disorder leading to cancer in his liver.
The child, who was living with his parents in Muscat, capital of Oman, suffered from tyrosinemia, a disease where the liver is unable to digest proteins.
"Even when Ziad developed rickets, which is one of the symptoms for this disease, the doctors were not able to diagnose his condition," said Neelam Mohan, director of pediatric gastroenterology.
Even though Ziad developed rickets at age of two, his liver condition was detected much later. His parents, originally from Karnataka, were not able to afford the surgery in Muscat.
Ziad`s father Mohd. Zakir Hussain, a pharmacist, and his mother Mehe Zabinthen, then decided to come to India.
An amount of about Rs.15 lakh was raised through charity.
But by then, Ziad had developed a cancer in his liver, and hence the whole liver had to be removed. But his parents` the blood group differed from Ziad`s, and so his uncle Rahmatullah came forward for the liver donation.
"The donor in a liver transplant undergoes the surgery only for saving some one`s life. A robotic surgery encouraged his uncle for the donation as it has greater precision and a mere three to four inches scar," added Soin.
The cost of a robotic surgery for the donor costs nearly Rs.75 to 80,000 more than a normal donor surgery. Doctors, however, say the cost will come down with time as more robotic surgeries are conducted.
"In another year or 18 months, the cost difference in normal and robotic surgery will come down to around Rs.25,000," said Soin.
"Once the robot is started, the cost that comes is around Rs.1 lakh. If three or four surgeries are conducted in a line, the cost will automatically come down," he explained.
And for Ziad, it`s nothing less than a blessing.
"It is another life for Ziad," a relieved Mehe Zabin said.