At a press conference held to announce the 200+ kidney transplant milestone, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai’s renal transplant team presented some remarkable insights into how kidney transplants have saved lives with better short-term and long-term outcomes as compared to those patients on dialysis. The team highlighted the high success rate of over 99 per cent with complex transplants successfully carried out including ABO-incompatible (mismatched blood group) transplants and repeat (second) transplant cases.
Dr Amolkumar Patil, Consultant Robotic Urologist and Renal Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “At Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, there is a continuous up-gradation of surgical technology with minimally-invasive techniques the norm today. These allow for better postoperative pain control, faster recovery and improved aesthetic outcome, with much smaller scars that heal very quickly. Positive clinical outcomes and a world-class experience have made Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai a popular referral option for patients across India as well as around the globe.”
As international travel restrictions eased with a decrease in COVID-19 cases, medical value travel saw a return with the team successfully performing kidney transplant surgeries on 15 foreign patients from Yemen, Rwanda, Kenya, and Sudan.
Dr Amit Langote, Chief Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “As a Centre of Excellence, our expertise in ABO-incompatible transplants has enabled us to help many patients of kidney failure who have been waiting for a matching blood group cadaver or live donor for years. Our skilled team have made this a viable option with a reduced risk of rejection. The quantum of ABO-incompatible cases has reached 11 per cent of the total cases to date and is seeing an upward trend due to the widening of the donor pool. We are grateful for the opportunity to have helped many critical patients who underwent transplants and went back to their normal lives and thrived.”
Another highlight was the renal transplant team being the leading figure in kidney transplants during the pandemic. With strict protocols in place, the team performed kidney transplants on 90+ critical patients who could not have otherwise survived waiting for a transplant till the lockdown opened up and relaxations set in.
Dr Ravindra Nikalji, Consultant Nephrologist and Kidney Transplant Physician, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “The overall health and health-related quality of life after transplantation have improved due to advanced techniques and improved immunosuppression. This has enabled us to help many patients who come in for a second or repeat transplantation with a better survival advantage to patients over dialysis. These are challenging surgeries but we are proud to have performed repeat transplants too very efficaciously. We have also been able to create awareness that a healthy elderly individual can also become a donor in saving the life of an individual without having any critical impact on the health.”
A heart-warming case presented was that of an 81-year-old lady, the oldest living donor in India, who donated a kidney to her 54-year-old son. It was an ABO-compatible transplant case and donor and recipient made a full recovery with no adverse impact on the health of the 81-year old donor.
Dr Ravi Shankar, Joint Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “It is only the scarcity of kidneys available for transplant that leads to patients going in for dialysis. We are glad that our Centre of Excellence in Renal Transplants has the expertise and experience to successfully meet the increasing demand for kidney transplants as this is the only option left to restore patients with renal failure back to good health and give them a better and longer life.”
Today, India is seeing a steady increase in kidney disease with over 17 per cent suffering from some form of kidney disease. Early diagnosis, when the disease is still in stages I and II, can help in halting or slowing the progression with proper treatment and medicines. But in advanced stage III, renal replacement therapy in the form of regular haemodialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary. Haemodialysis has side effects and limits a patient’s independence and quality of life. A kidney transplant is a preferred option for treatment for patients with end-stage kidney disease.
Santosh Marathe, Regional CEO Western Region, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “We are proud to have the specialised services offered by the kidney transplant centre in our portfolio of services. We run a patient support group activity wherein at periodic intervals the families of patients and patients themselves meet and share experiences and their fight against the disease.
The transplant programme at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai includes cadaveric renal transplantation, cadaver-donor kidney transplantation, living donor kidney transplants and laparoscopic donor nephrectomy.