First Successful Lung Transplantation in Andhra Pradesh


                 Dr Gokhale and his team did the  first successful lung transplantation in Andhra Pradesh at Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, taking the medical facilities at Hyderabad one more step forward.  There is only one more center in India where such facilities for both lung and heart transplantations are available under one roof.

Cardiothoracic surgery team at Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, headed by Dr. AGK Gokhale, Chief cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access surgeon and Dr G. Subramanyam, Senior consultant Anesthetist, transplanted a lung on  8th of September, 2012, for a 34 yr old lady from Pune , making her breathe comfortably again after a long time.

This lady with two small children, has been suffering for last two years from a lung condition called Interstitial fibrosis- a condition in which lungs become stiff and oxygen will not go into blood through lungs. She was bedridden depending on oxygen at rest. She was going  all over place in Maharashtra  for possible cure.  Ultimately the treating doctor at Bombay hospital, Mumbai , broke the news to the patient and family that the only option to make her live longer is –Lung Transplantation, as both lungs were damaged.  It was a rude shock for the whole family to learn it and especially when they came to know that lung transplant surgery is not available anywhere close by. After that they looked all over the country and came to Dr Gokhale at Yashoda Hospitals for this operation about 2 months back.  She was evaluated by Dr Gokhale and  Dr Gangadhar Reddy , pulmonologist  for lung transplantation . After that they had video discussions with lung transplant team at Debakey Heart and Lung center, Houston, Texas and once it was confirmed that there is no other option to save this patient, she was kept on waiting list.  Since then she stayed in a hotel near the hospital premises waiting desperately for a donor to be available.

On the evening of 8th of September, 2012, a lady patient was declared brain dead  due to massive  bleeding inside the brain, in another corporate (KIMS) hospital , Hyderabad. When her attendants agreed to donate the organs, her lungs were brought in a preservative solution and right lung was transplanted to the patient.

This operation took nearly 14 hours to complete from planning to execution. She was taken off ventilator after 24 hours and when she started talking, those were the happiest moments for the entire team which worked towards this history creation. Apart from Dr Gokhale, surgical team included Dr Viswanath and Dr Dilip Ratti and the Anesthesia team included Dr Subramanyam, Dr Sudhakar, Dr Madhav and Dr Venu. Postoperatively  she was monitored in the intensive care unit by the cardiothoracic surgery and pulmonology teams.

We have two lungs in the chest and they purify blood by giving oxygen from the air we breathe and removing carbon-di-oxide from blood. They can damaged from various reasons like direct and indirect smoking, working in polluted atmosphere, following viral infections and due to a variety of other reasons. As age advances, nearly 10% of people in urban areas develop major lung problems. When they get damaged, patients find it difficult to do the work they were doing  before and slowly get breathless on walking for small distances. Latter they cannot breathe without keeping oxygen and become bedridden. For many of these patients, drugs do not help. The only option for them to live longer and have good quality of life is – Lung Transplantation. After transplantation, they can do normal activities and enjoy the life and do what they love. They also have to be on drugs that prevent rejection life-long.  This transplantation  has created a new hope to such patients who otherwise do not have hope to live. This heart team has rich experience in doing complicated heart and lung surgeries for over one and a half decades .

Incidentally in Andhra Pradesh ,Dr A.G.K.Gokhale  and his team did the first successful heart transplant in 2004 and implanted the first left ventricular  assist device (LVAD) in July 2012 and again did the first lung transplant surgery in India. Dr Gokhale  is one of the only two surgeons in India who performed heart and lung transplants successfully so far.