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Dr Gokhale’s team claims to have performed first lung transplantation in Andhra Pradesh

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Hyderabad: Doctors at Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, claim to have performed the first successfully lung transplantation in India Andhra Pradesh. Cardiothoracic surgery team at Yashoda Hospitals, headed by Dr A G K Gokhale, chief cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access surgeon and Dr G Subramanyam, senior consultant anaesthetist, transplanted a lung on 8th September for Archana S, a 34-year old woman from Pune.

The patient, a mother of two children, had been suffering for last two years from Interstitial Fibrosis — a condition in which lungs become stiff and oxygen does not go into blood through lungs. She was bedridden depending on oxygen at rest. Doctors treating her at Bombay Hospital in Mumbai, suggested lung transplantation as only option left to them as both the lungs were damaged.

The patient’s family brought her about 2 months ago to Yashoda Hospitals where Dr Gokhale and Dr Gangadhar Reddy (pulmonologist) evaluated her for lung transplantation. The doctors then had video discussions with lung transplant team at DeBakey Heart and Lung Centre, Houston, Texas, US and once it was confirmed that there was no other option to save the patient, she was kept on waiting list. Since then she stayed in a hotel near the hospital premises waiting for a donor to be available.

On the 8th September evening, a lady patient was declared brain dead due to massive bleeding inside the brain, in another hospital — (Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (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.

The operation took nearly 14 hours to complete from planning to execution. The patient was taken off ventilator after 24 hours and when she started talking, those were the happiest moments for the entire team. Apart from Dr Gokhale, the surgical team included Dr Viswanath and Dr Dilip Ratti and the anaesthesia team included Dr Subramanyam, Dr Sudhakar, Dr Madhav and Dr Venu.

Incidentally in Andhra Pradesh, Dr 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. Dr Gokhale is one of the only two surgeons in India who performed heart and lung transplants successfully so far. He also has a distinction of performing India’s first heart-kidney combined transplant.