Pune: Woman with rare heart-lung transplant on road to recovery, says doctors

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PUNE: A 37-year-old woman who in August became Pune’s first recipient of a dual heart-lung transplant, is now healthy and doing fine, her doctors said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
The woman, a bank employee and a resident of Sinhagad Road area, had a rare lung disease called lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM. The condition was so severe she needed four litres of supportive oxygen every day and had to carry a portable cylinder wherever she went. The disease had also impacted her heart.
But doctors from the DY Patil Medical College and Hospital, who performed the heart-lung transplant on August 20, said she’s now much better.
“It has been just over a month since the surgery so we’ll have to ensure her airways and lungs remain free of infection,” the doctors said, adding that they continue to monitor her 24×7. Over the past three weeks, seven bronchoscopies have been carried out to ensure there are no problems, the doctors added.
Her daily oxygen requirement is now two litres instead of the four litres before the surgery.
The woman, who was also part of Tuesday’s press briefing, said the surgery has given her “a new lease of life”.
“The most advanced care was provided to treat and aid my recovery,” she said, while thanking her doctors.
The team from DY Patil hospital said this was the first time such a procedure was performed in the Pune region, and at a medical college.
The organ donor, a 27-year-old woman resident of Bhosari, had suffered intracranial bleeding and was declared brain dead on August 19. Her family then agreed to donate her vital organs, including heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Dr Sandeep Attawar, the surgeon who led the team that performed the transplant, said organ donation is the need of the hour.
“We need more public-private partnerships and technology transfer in the medical field to ensure the latest advancements benefit people, especially those from the marginalised sections,” he said.
Dr Anurag Garg, head of cardiac surgery at the DY Patil hospital, said the medical team worked non-stop during the post-operative period to ensure the patient’s rehabilitation.
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis is a rare cystic lung disease that causes a progressive decline in lung function. It mainly affects women of child-bearing age. Lung transplantation remains an important option for women with end-stage LAM.
In the case of the Pune woman, the delicate transplant procedure took eight hours. The team of doctors said they had to train themselves, create special protocols and ensure availability of all consumables before admitting the patient.



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