Mumbai doctors perform India`s first domino kidney transplant

Mumbai: Simultaneous surgeries in three hospitals benefited five recipients after the state authorisation panel gave permission for the domino kidney transplant, first in India.

After facing many hurdles for getting permission from the government, country’s first-ever domino kidney transplant was successfully performed in the city on Tuesday.

The domino kidney transplant, which involves five donors and five recipients, was conducted in three hospitals — two transplant procedures each in Bombay Hospital and Hiranandani hospital and one in Hinduja hospital. All the transplants were done on the same day.

A domino transplant is a series of surgeries in which each of the five donors gives an organ to a recipient not related to him/her, while the donor’s relative needing an organ gets it from a recipient’s relative. Legal issues are involved in organ donation cases when the donor and recipient are not related.

Dr Shrirang Bicchu, nephrologist, Bombay hospital, said, “The success of this procedure will now set a precedent and encourage people to opt for it as it reduces a patient’s wait for the organ. We are very thankful to the government of Maharashtra; it helped speed up the procedure.”

As the transplant was being conducted in city hospitals and because four of the five donor-recipient pairs were from Maharashtra, permission of the state authorisation committee was necessary, which was given last week.

On May 19, dna had first reported about the denial of the Rajasthan government in giving its nod to the procedure. Of the five donor-recipient pairs involved, one is from Rajasthan.

Permission had been sought from the Rajasthan state authorisation committee, a body mandated to clear such transplants to prevent illegal trade of organs.

The committee, however, denied permission citing the Supreme Court guidelines that said nothing about a ‘domino’ procedure.

“It is a routine procedure in the United States; its success has been reported in several journals. The interesting thing about domino kidney transplant is that despite blood group not matching, with the help of this five-way swap, those in need are able to get the organ; otherwise, they have to wait for a long time. All credit goes to the Apex Swap Transplant Registry that addresses the issue of mismatch in blood groups or tissues in donor-recipient pairs,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, nephrologist, Hiranandani hospital, one of the doctors on the domino transplant team.