Chennai: A team doctors in Chennai claims to have performed Asia’s first lung transplant surgery on a COVID-19 survivor. The virus had damaged the 48-year-old businessman’s lungs severely. Doctors said that now the patient is doing fine and his new lungs are working well.
The entire team put their lives at risk for this surgery, Dr Balakrishnan said, adding that the patient had recovered from COVID before he was operated on.
“Both his lungs are working well now and we have removed ECMO support. His clinical condition is stable,” said MGM Healthcare Co-Director Dr Suresh Rao.
In a statement, chairman of MGM Healthcare Dr KR Balakrishnan, said that the patient tested positive for coronavirus on July 8, and only a small portion of the lungs was left functional and he became breathless and oxygen saturation came down. He was on ventilator support on June 20. His condition continued to worsen in spite of ventilator support.
Then the doctors decided to go for the transplant, and it was performed on August 27.
“Select patients suffering from coronavirus pneumonia where all medications and mechanical ventilators fail to show positive results, an early initiation of ECMO support may be a lifesaving modality,” said Apart Jindal, Clinical Director & Consultant, Lung Transplant, Interventional Pulmonology & Chest Medicine.
“Over time, progression can determine whether the patient improves spontaneously or may be offered the option of a lung transplant. A lung transplant may well be the answer to many of the COVID survivors whose lungs are healing with fibrosis and making them a chronic respiratory cripple,” Jindal added.