Healthcast: New liver transplant


(HEALTHCAST)— One, the 66-year-old recipient with an irreversible, life-threatening liver disease.

The other, a 29- year-old living donor!

Amazingly, the liver is the only organ that can regenerate.

In fact, in the eleven weeks since the operation where a third of his liver was removed, doctors expect today the man’s liver is back to its original size.

The surgeon who led the team says after this new method donors have an easier recovery.

“Usually patients who donate through laparotomy, through the open method, it takes about 2 to 3 months, patients who do it laparoscopically it is reduced to a month or a month and a half,” Cleveland Clinic Dr. Hyuck David Kwon said.

Cleveland Clinic said this new procedure is a significant advancement… Turning a what’s usually a major ordeal into a minimally invasive surgery for the donor.

“The size of the incision is very small, we put little holes, and you operate through the little holes,” Kwon said.

Through those holes, and over six hours using a rare, new, 3d flexible scope system, surgeons work through a complex routine that then allows them to remove a portion of the healthy liver through a small abdominal incision.

“Another bonus of it is that the incisions that we make is like what we call below the bikini line, so actually when you go to the swimming pool all you see are half-inch, like five little scars and that’s about it!” Kwon said.

Now it’s smaller scars and fewer pills.

“And also with the pain medication – the opioid pain medication the patient requires is usually half to one-third of the, compared to the conventional,” Kwon said.

The 29-year-old told the staff he’s not just a liver donor he’s a life donor because he knows if he didn’t step forward, the recipient would probably not be alive today.

The Cleveland Clinic hopes these new advancements will inspire more to step forward as liver donors.

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