Successful bilateral lung transplant gives new lease of life to a young Ukrainian boy

June 10, 2017, Chennai

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Chennai, June 10 : In a first-of-its kind transplant surgery, a team of senior doctors from Fortis Malar Hospital conducted a successful bilateral lung transplant on twenty one year old Ukrainian patient, Mr. Prokopchuk Andrii who was critically ill due to pulmonary hypertension in lungs.


 The challenging surgery of transplanting a pair of new lungs was performed by the team led by Dr. K R Balakrishnan, Director, Cardiac Sciences and Dr. Suresh Rao K G, HOD Critical Care & Cardiac Anesthesia. The patient was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and high lung blood pressure; due to the pulmonary hypertension the heart’s right ventricle started to function below the optimal level.  The expert’s at Fortis Malar Hospital performed the transplant surgery to help the patient recover. 

Hailing from a nuclear family, 21-year-old Andrii was rushed to a hospital at Kiev Capital of Ukraine a year ago when he complained of breathlessness. Upon admission, doctors discovered that Andrii’s lung condition was deteriorating due to increased lung pressure and right ventricular dysfunction and his skin color started to change to blue. Keeping in mind the medical history of Andrii and his heart conditions, the doctors recommend seeking further treatment in India. 

Andrii was admitted to Fortis Malar Hospital on 20th October 2016, where the doctors led by Dr. K R Balakrishnan identified the solution to Pulmonary Hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction. While a heart and lung transplant was strongly recommended, the expert team at Fortis Malar treated the patient with a bilateral lung transplant to resolve pulmonary hypertension, preserving his heart.

Dr. K R Balakrishnan, Director - Cardiac Sciences, Chief Cardiothoracic & Transplant Surgeon, Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai said “Mr. Andrii had Pulmonary Hypertension – disease of pulmonary blood vessels, a lung condition which was rapidly deteriorating and a transplant was absolutely essential.  He was at high risk of early death if the lungs weren’t transplanted. Though the procedure was technically difficult and challenging, he made a steady recovery post the transplant surgery and is now leading normal life. Advances in medicine have made bilateral lung transplants safer and a realistic option in managing cases of end stage lung failure. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of patient-centered care to many more patients, right here in India. The lung transplant program of Fortis Centre for advanced heart failure and transplant is a recognizable program in the country with exceptionally good outcomes.” 

Commenting on this landmark surgery, Dr. Suresh Rao K G, Head, Cardiac Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai said, “This is the first ever instance in South Asia where a bilateral lung transplant has been performed for pulmonary hypertension with right ventricular dysfunction. Andrii was suffering from severe breathlessness and heart failure. We medically managed his heart failure and decided to undertake lung transplant surgery to treat his pulmonary hypertension. Post-transplant, two to four days were crucial, as they would determine whether the patient’s body has rejected or accepted the new organ. The patient was administered immunosuppressant’s, which makes them vulnerable for infection. We have to balance between organ rejection and infection. His Right ventricle has totally recovered now.”

“Until I came to India, I did not believe in miracles but now I am extremely grateful to the doctors at Fortis Malar Hospital. After a long struggle I am finally going to go back to Palestine and reunite with my kids and rest of the family. This is the ultimate gift to me”, said Andrii’s mother.

Today, couple of weeks after his discharge, Andrii is walking and getting back to a normal life, his parents are extremely thankful to God and team of cardiothoracic experts at Fortis Malar for giving their son a new lease of life and for giving them a reason to be happy again.