Amritsar: The Fortis Hospital on Wednesday claimed to have successfully carried out Punjab's first-ever live donor liver transplant, with a woman donating a portion of the organ to her husband, a businessman from Gurdaspur.

Gurdaspur resident Rajan Salhotra, who had been suffering from liver cirrhosis for the past seven years, says his wife Meenakshi saved his life. Rajan met Dr Subba Rao V Kanchustambam, Director of Centre for Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Sciences (CLTBS) at Fortis Hospital Mohali, where he was assured that a liver transplant was the best option for him.

"Rajan was suffering from last-stage liver disease and had hardly slept peacefully during the past seven years. The itch was so severe that he would end up scratching night and day, turning his life miserable. To add to his problems, he had to be repeatedly admitted to hospitals for jaundice and infections due to the cirrhosis," Dr Subba Rao said.

The doctors at Ludhiana advised him a liver transplant. "Rajan was lucky that his wife Meenakshi's blood group is O+ve and she could donate either blood, one of the kidneys or a part of the liver to anyone. Meenakshi agreed to the live liver transplant," added Dr Subba Rao. Meenakshi's portion of liver was removed and Rajan's surgery was started simultaneously.

The damaged part of his liver was replaced with his wife's organ. Both surgeries went well and Rajan responded to the treatment. "The itching has disappeared. I cannot believe it. After seven years of going through difficult times and repeated hospitalisations, I feel healthy and youthful," said Rajan.

Meenakshi was discharged from the hospital on the ninth day, Rajan was sent home 20 days after the surgery with a new liver. The doctor said that a Bangladeshi national had earlier undergone a live liver transplant but businessman Salhotra's was the first case of a patient from the region undergoing the procedure.


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