Ten-month-old Baby L. needed a liver transplant due to a condition called biliary atresia. The condition causes a blockage in the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. It's a congenital condition, which means that infants are born with the condition. The bile ducts are important because they remove waste from the liver and also transport potassium or salts that aid the small intestine in breaking down and digesting fat. Without treatment, Baby L.’s prognosis was not good, as the blocked bile ducts could lead to liver damage, liver cirrhosis, and eventual death.
Surgeons carried out a Kasai procedure. The Kasai procedure was developed by a Japanese surgeon in the early 1950s and involves removing the blocked bile ducts andreplacing them with very small portions of the patient's own intestine. The segments connect the liver to the small intestine, effectively bypassing the blocked bile ducts.
Following a surgical procedure, Baby L. seemed to show signs of improvement. However, it wasn't long before doctors noted the telltale signs of yellowness that signified faulty liver function, as well as digestive problems. Following a round of ultrasound, blood tests, x-rays and biopsies, the doctors came to one conclusion - a liver transplant was necessary in order to save Baby L.'s life.
The problem was, finding a deceased liver donor that closely matched Baby L. grew less and less likely in her native homeland. In addition, liver transplantation was not possible in Baby L’s country. Baby L.'s parents grew desperate to save their baby's life and began searching abroad for a hospital facility that could perform a liver transplant. Through PlacidWay, they found Memorial Health Group,Turkey.
Tests were made, and the baby's father visited Memorial Hospital in Istanbul to discuss his baby daughter's treatment with Professor Koray Acarli. He was impressed not only with the hospital, but the professionalism, training and experience of the staff. Technology at the hospital was top notch. He returned to his country to make arrangements for his daughter's surgery at the hospital. In addition to making such arrangements, the baby's father was now on a search for a compatible donor, who, must be a blood relative.
Multiple family members were tested, but none of them proved to be a suitable donor either in liver size or blood group to Baby L. Then, just as the family began to lose hope, the father received the news that a cousin was willing and prepared to donate a portion of his liver to the infant.
Using information and resources provided by PlacidWay, an international medical provider based in Denver, Colorado, the parents were soon in contact with Memorial Health Group, Istanbul. Istanbul Memorial Hospital's patient coordinators completed arrangements for all the procedures. They even arranged for the family to stay in an
apartment near the hospital. The family was picked up at the airport, and the process for the transplant began immediately following their arrival in Turkey.
“We are extremely pleased to have been able to help Baby L. find the best in transplant resources near their homeland,” says Pramod Goel, CEO and founder of PlacidWay. “That’s what we’re all about – helping patients find the best in highly trained and qualified doctors, surgeons and facilities. This child has a wonderful prognosis and outlook for life, thanks to the skills of the surgeons in Turkey.”
After all tests and evaluations were completed, the liver transplant was underway, performed by professors Munci Kalayoglu and Koray Acarli. The liver donor was successfully discharged a couple of days following the procedure, while the infant girl was closely monitored for two weeks following the surgical transplant.
Today, Baby L.'s parents are ecstatic at the growth and development of their baby girl. It's the most altruistic thing they could do, giving her the gift of life.
Today, Baby L. is a healthy baby girl, enjoying all the things that little girls should enjoy.
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