Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Unusual transplant operation a success

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

A team of doctors from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital announced yesterday that they had conducted the nation's first successful split-liver transplantation on two adults.

Lin Ching-piau (林清標) and Hsiung Chen-hsing (熊振興), who were each implanted with one-half of a donor's liver, stood beside their doctors and confirmed that they were on their way to good health.

"I walked 5,000 steps today, an accomplishment that was impossible before," Lin said as he thanked his doctors.

"There is no longer reason to be afraid, for everyone has a chance now. Even if the procedure should cost NT$10 million, it is worth the expense," Lin said.

The doctors were especially pleased with the outcome of the operations because while split-liver transplants are often performed on an adult and a child, having two adults share one donated liver is rare.

Hui Yu-ling (許汝寧), the anesthesiologist for the operations, explained that the left side of the liver is usually much smaller than the right, creating doubt as to whether the left-side portion is sufficient for an adult.

"Split-liver transplantations for two adult recipients have been performed just 36 times," said Li Wei-Chen (李威震), chief surgeon of the surgical team.

The operations on Lin and Hsiung were performed July 13 after a 36-year-old woman died and her organs were made available for transplants. The operation took eight hours.

The two men developed liver problems after contracting hepatitis. Lin had hepatitis C while Hsiung had hepatitis B.

After one month of careful observation, the doctors found that each half of the donated liver had regenerated successfully, meaning both men should be able to lead normal, healthy lives.

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