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Selayang Hospital to introduce liver transplants from living donors

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Selayang Hospital in Selangor, Malaysia will be introducing liver transplants from living donors by the end of 2016 or early 2017 in order to increase the current number of donations they are getting, according to Krishnan Raman, head and consultant of the Department of Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Services at Selayang Hospital.

HPB is a medical field that specializes in liver, pancreas and bile ducts diseases.

The hospital’s current liver transplant programme was dependent on people who were willing to donate their organ when they were brain dead. “It is hard to sustain the programme (liver transplant) because the donation rate is very low,” said Krishnan.

Because of this, the Department of HPB Services plans to embark on liver transplant from living donors, which involves removing part of the liver of a living donor and transplanting it into the patient.

“The donors are usually healthy people, typically younger and thus the results are very good,” he said in an interview after the National Gastrointestinal Assistants (GIA) Conference recently held in Kota Kinabalu. The event was organised by the Gastroenterology Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Malaysia Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Krishnan, who is also the national advisor of HPB Services to the Ministry of Health, said the Department of HPB Services at Selayang Hospital was the only one undertaking liver transplant surgery in Malaysia.

The first liver transplant was carried out on a boy from Kuching, Sarawak in 2002.Since then, Krishnan said the department had performed 80 liver transplants. The Department of HPB Serviceshas trained 20 surgeons in the field of liver transplant since it was set up in the Selayang Hospital. Upon completion of their three-year training, the surgeons are sent to different locations to serve in the country.

“We have HPB centres in Penang, Alot Setar, Malacca, Kuching and until recently, QEH,” Krishnan said, adding that the HPB surgeon at QEH had resigned recently to enter the private sector.

Also present at the interview was Philip Gisan, who is the deputy head of assistant medical officer grade U44 and head of Endoscopy Unit at QEH since 1998. The Endoscopy Unit at QEH is one of the best in the country, according to Krishnan.

Since 2010, he has been appointed as a guest lecturer to teach and give lectures on post basic gastrointestinal endoscopy nursing.To date, 460 nurses and assistant medical officers from the private and government hospitals have been trained in the programme.

Philip is also the chairman of South East Asia Endoscopy Nursing Programme and chairman of Gastroenterology Intestinal Assistants Society.


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