First simultaneous forearm transplant successfully conducted by Vietnamese doctors
The patient is being taken care (Photo: NDO)

150 medical staff participated in the multi-organ transplant

On September 16, the Hanoi-based 108 Military Central Hospital performed a multiple organ transplantation with organs taken from a brain dead donor saving the lives of six different patients.

The hospital successfully performed a bivalent transplant for a patient diagnosed with primary pulmonary fibrosis; a liver transplant for a patient with acute liver failure against a background of cirrhosis due to a hepatitis B virus infection; and two kidney transplants for two separate patients with end-stage chronic renal failure.

At the same time, the hospital also transplanted two forearms for a patient with amputated forearms on both sides due to an accident.

In addition, the hospital also coordinated with the National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation to collect and transplant a heart for a patient with end-stage dilated myocarditis at the Hanoi-based Viet Duc Friendship Hospital.

After 24 hours of urgent preparation and during the more than 10 hours of surgery, the Board of Directors of the 108 Hospital provided detailed instruction, whilst mobilising more than 150 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and other hospital staff together with the close collaboration of the National Lung Hospital to successfully perform the 4th multi-tissue transplant at the hospital.

Professor, Dr. Mai Hong Bang, Director of the 108 Hospital, said that it was really a “big battle,” featuring the close direction, administration, coordination and implementation of many specialists in the hospital.

To perform this multi-organ transplant, 12 operating tables were mobilised simultaneously. The post-surgery recovery of the patients has so far progressed smoothly.

A lung transplant was carried out on a 54-year-old male patient diagnosed with primary pulmonary fibrosis two years ago. He was suffering from a severe lack of oxygen due to the disease. A lung transplant was considered the only avenue to saving his life. Lung transplant is still regarded as one of most complex challenges in the field of organ transplantation, even in countries with advanced medical facilities.

Meanwhile, the liver transplant was the 51st liver transplant successfully performed at the 108 Hospital. Currently, liver transplantation has become a routine surgery at the facility, especially liver from living donors. So far, the hospital has successfully performed 14 emergency liver transplants from living donors serving the treatment of acute liver failure.

First ever simultaneous forearm transplant

In this multi-organ transplant, doctors of the 108 Military Hospital marked a new milestone in Vietnamese medicine as they became the first medical facility in the country and Southeast Asia to successfully transplant two forearms simultaneously for an 18 year old male patient.

Three years ago, when he was 15, the patient had an explosive accident that completely crushed both of his forearms. Since then, he has encountered great difficulties, while having to give up his dream of learning.

Professor Bang said that, fortunately for him, on the same day of the multi-organ transplant, the brain dead donor donated a pair of forearms enabling him to undergo the surgery. All of his wounds have now healed, while the transplanted limbs are adapting well.

This is the yet another outstanding success in the field of limb transplantation in Vietnam in general and also for the medical team at the 108 Military Hospital in particular, after the world's first hand transplant taken from a living donor was also successfully performed at the hospital in January this year.

"After the transplantation, all the patients were isolated and put in intensive care under special 24/24 hour regimes. Their health is stable and they have recovered well, all activities having returned to normal. One patient from the liver transplant and two from the kidney transplants were discharged three weeks after their surgeries. More than a month after the transplant, the patient who underwent the lung transplant was also happy following his discharge. Meanwhile, the patient with grafted forearms has seen his wounds heal. He is continuing to practice rehabilitation and physical therapy," said Professor Bang.

After three years of implementing a science and technology project named "Strengthening research capacity to develop techniques for transplanting human tissue and organs," the 108 Military Hospital has successfully performed 240 transplants and achieved excellent results in the field of organ transplantation, especially in multi-organ transplantation./.


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