Liver transplant rids a man of his hemophilia


Recipient’s wife donated 60% of her organ

A resident of Bengaluru has been cured of hemophilia, a bleeding disorder that can lead to serious health complications, through a liver transplant surgery.

Prem Roop Alva, a hemophilia patient, underwent a liver transplant surgery in a private hospital in Bengaluru in March.

Alva informed The Observer he was suffering from HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) and diabetes which worsened the condition of his liver. The only cure he was left with was a liver transplant.

Alva’s liver transplant surgery lasted 12 hours. Consequently, his liver started producing the necessary protein which it lacked earlier.

According to Medanta Healthcare, within the first 18 months of birth, a child shows symptoms which help in determining whether he or she will have hemophilia or not.

Hemophiliacs have primarily bleeding in the head at the time of birth. Other symptoms can be having bruised or swollen joints while learning to walk, frequent nose bleeds and bruises due to minor injuries, bleeding in gums or in urine and stool, and signs of obesity.

Usually, hemophiliacs get infected with Hepatitis C owing to the use of contaminated blood products. They suffer from acute liver damage, sometimes making it necessary for them to undergo a liver transplant.

According to the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), hemophilia is usually an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly.

CDC mentions that there are mainly two types of Hemophilia:-A and B. Type A occurs due to a lack of factor VIII and type B occurs due to a lack of factor IX. The severity of hemophilia is determined by the amount of factors in the blood.

The lower the amount of the factor, the more likely it is that bleeding will occur which can lead to serious health problems.

The only way to administer Anti-Hemophilic Factors is through infusions which means injecting the missing protein into the patient’s bloodstream.

Alva told The Observer that his wife was his donor. She donated 60 per cent of her liver to him.

Alva’s wife, who wishes to remain unnamed, said that the first week was difficult as her kidneys were not functioning properly. She lost her appetite, leading to a weight loss. She was advised a month’s bed rest, but from the fourth day she was able to do small chores like cooking.

After the 15th day, she was back to her normal routine.

Dr Suresh, Professor of Pathology at the JJM Medical College said liver transplant has its risks. If the donor liver is not healthy, then it might cause complications in the recipient’s body.

Subhajit Ghosh, a Hemophilia A patient, said: “Though initially expensive, in the long run, liver transplant is beneficial to save a patient from a crippling deformity. Moreover, it will also save him from being a burden on society at large, along with exorbitant lifelong treatment expenses.”

The National Hemophilia Foundation considers the transplant a momentous event in the history of hemophilia as the disease which was once thought to be incurable has been cured without the patient suffering any bleeding episodes post-surgery.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *