Apollo Hospitals performs a complex double organ – Heart & Lung Transplantation

Renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Padmasri awardee Dr Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale (right) with the twenty-five-year-old woman, Ms Labdhi Jain who underwent a rare combined Heart and Lung transplant at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills.

Hyderabad: A team of doctors led by renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Padmasri awardee Dr Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale performed a rare, combined Heart and Lung transplant on 20th July 2021 to save a terminally ill twenty-five-year-old woman, Ms Labdhi Jain. The recipient was unfortunately born with congenital heart disease with a hole in her heart known as ventricular septal defect and an abnormal connection between her great arteries (Aorto-pulmonary window). Over the years, the congenital defect led to further deterioration in her health condition with increased lung pressures and leakage of heart valves. She was surviving on oxygen support at home for the last two-and-half years. Of late, she was admitted at various hospitals several times for heart failure. The transplant team at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, on evaluation found her to be in an advanced stage of heart failure coupled with increased lung pressures. The team prescribed combined Heart and Lung transplantation to save her life. She was registered under the State Government’s Jeevandan Cadaver Transplantation program and was waiting for a suitable donor.

The team faced unique challenges in this case. The recipient at the time of listing for transplant weighed only 30 kgs. Getting a suitable organ which was of appropriate in size for her was complex, as her heart cavity was small. She was helplessly waiting for a suitable organ for a prolonged period of over two and half years, with hope of finding a small sized organ diminishing by the day.

The cadaver heart and lung obtained from an eighteen-year-old girl, pronounced brain dead due to intracranial bleeding and thrombosis, aptly suited her requirement. Despite the immense sorrow of losing their child, the donor’s family displayed exemplary courage and benevolence and gave consent to harvest their braindead daughter’s organs. This humanitarian gesture on behalf of the grief-stricken loved ones brought joy back in the life of another family.

The recipient recovered well after surgery; her weight has improved to 38 kgs. She is being discharged from the hospital, freed from the burden of heart and lung disease, to enjoy life the way she deserves, and to overcome any obstacles that come her way with confident strides and a happy heart.