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Youngest Child Undergoes Small Intestine Transplant in Asia

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A young boy’s father has donated 150 cm of his small intestine for his son who became Asia’s youngest recipient at the age of 4 to receive a small intestine organ transplant.

Rela Hospital, a multi-speciality, quaternary care hospital in Chennai, has entered the Asia Book of Records for having successfully performed a small intestine transplant surgery on a 4-year-old boy from Bangalore, the youngest in Asia to have undergone this surgery. This rare procedure was recognized by The Asian Book of Records as Asia’s Youngest Small Intestine Transplant Surgery, the certificate of Asia Book of Records was handed over to Prof. Mohamed Rela, Chairman and Managing Director, Rela Hospital, today by Mr. Vivek, a representative of Asia Book of Records in the presence of Mr Ma. Subramaniam, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu and Dr J Radhakrishnan, IAS, Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu.

A healthy and active child, Master Guhan developed sudden and erratic vomiting for 2 days, this got Mr. Swaminathan, the father of Master Guhan worried and rushed him to the neighbourhood hospital thinking it could be a routine stomach infection. To their surprise, the doctors told them that he has a rare condition called volvulus, a rare complication, in which intestine loop twists resulting in cutting off the blood supply to that intestinal loop. An emergency surgery had to be performed, which revealed to the surgeons that the intestinal loop has been completely necrosed (non-viable) and had to be removed, this meant that stomach was attached to skin (stoma). Small intestine, the lower part of the digestive system, is to absorb most of the nutrients from the food. With no small intestine, whatever Master Guhan eats, will not be digested and just come out of the stoma. Any food taken via mouth will increase gastric secretions, resulting in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. He was totally dependent on intravenous nutrition and he was connected to infusion pump 24 hours a day to deliver the required nutrients to his body.

Master Guhan, up until then, was hooked onto an infusion pump for ‘intravenous feeding’ was referred to Rela Hospital. Following medical evaluation of Guhan, the family was informed that an intestinal transplantation is the only solution ahead of them. Mr. Swaminathan, father of Master Guhan came forward to donate a part of his small intestine. The clinical team headed by Prof. Mohamed Rela successfully performed this 7-hour long complex transplant surgery on September 13, 2021, during which 150-cm of the father’s small intestine was transplanted to Master Guhan.

After months of total dependency on intravenous nutrition, including 5 weeks on this external feeding post-surgery, Master Guhan has fully recovered. With his small intestine functioning perfectly well, he is now free to have any kind of food like other children of his age. The donor, Mr. Swaminathan has also resumed his day-to-day life, a healthy life.

Expressing appreciation for this accomplishment, Mr Ma. Subramaniam, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu, congratulated the management and doctors of Rela Hospital for entering the Asia Book of Records by performing a rare, small intestine transplant and bringing back the boy to lead a normal life like other children.

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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