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First liver-kidney transplant performed in Belarus

MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – The first liver-kidney transplant operation has been performed at the National Research Organ and Tissue Transplantation Center, BelTA has learnt.

It has become the longest surgery ever held in the center: it took 17 hours. The operation was performed by two groups of surgeons. Aleksei Shcherba, the head of the transplantology unit, conducted the liver transplant (the first procedure of the operation). “Actually it was a retransplantation,” he said. The first surgery was held to replace the tumor-stricken part of the organ. The patient needed the second transplantation because of the viral hepatitis.

When the surgeons embarked on the kidney transplant, the patient had been under general anesthesia for 13 hours already. According to head of the nephrology and kidney transplantation department of the center Oleg Kalachik, who continued the operation, it was vital not to allow the state of the patient to deteriorate.

The 52-year-old patient is said to be in a stable condition now. He is to undergo a long rehabilitation treatment.

The liver-kidney transplant operations are normally seldom worldwide. Belarus is expected to conduct annually not more than two or three surgeries of the kind.

It has not been, however, the first combined transplant operation performed in Belarus. Minsk hospitals No. 9 and No. 4 successfully conducted a pancreas-kidney transplant in 2009.

The National Research Organ and Tissue Transplantation Center was opened at the basis of Minsk hospital No. 9 in March 2010. Its specialists develop and implement advanced technologies in the treatment of liver, pancreas, kidney diseases, provide emergency and scheduled high-technology medical aid. The center is fitted with the best foreign and domestic medical equipment. The center organizes on-the-job training for its surgeons and intensivists in the leading transplantology centers of the Russian Federation, England and Germany.

In 2011 there were conducted 241 transplants in Belarus; of them 175 kidney surgeries, 43 operations on liver and 21 heart transplants.