Sister donates kidney to brother in first such transplant in Dubai.


The surgery was performed on a 27-year-old Emirati patient who was visiting the hospital three times a week for dialysis since 2016.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced its first organ transplant surgery on Tuesday during a press conference held at its headquarters in Dubai.
The surgery was performed on a 27-year-old Emirati patient, Khalid Waleed Al Marzouq, who was suffering from kidney failure due to an autoimmune disease and was visiting the hospital three times a week for dialysis since 2016.
Kidney failure disease occurs when kidneys lose around 90 per cent of their ability to filter and remove waste, minerals and fluid from the blood by producing urine.

People with kidney failure need to have waste removed from their bloodstream via a machine (dialysis) or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
The young Emirati patient received the organ transplant at DHA’s Dubai Hospital after his 24-year-old sister, Aysha, donated her kidney to save his life.

The surgery, which took six-hours, was performed on February 10, 2020, by a medical team comprising of 25 doctors, specialists and nurses from Dubai Hospital.
The DHA announced that the procedure was a success, as the kidney started functioning normally in the first 24 hours and that both patients were discharged shortly and went back to their normal lives.
DHA officials including Dr Younis Kazim CEO of the Dubai Healthcare Corporation and Dr Maryam Mohammad Al Rayssi, CEO of Dubai Hospital attended the conference.
Commenting on this achievement, Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the DHA said that the authority is proud of this accomplishment adding that the success of the first kidney transplant at the DHA is the first step towards implementing its organ transplant strategy and towards establishing a distinguished organ transplant centre.

Currently 300 patients receive dialysis from Dubai and the Northern Emirates at Dubai Hospital. The strategy will help reduce death rates between 48-82 per cent.

Al Qutami thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of the DHA, for continuously supporting the health sector of Dubai.

He added that the authority is planning to conduct more organ transplant surgeries in the future and that the authority is currently preparing to perform a liver transplant. 

Dr Yasser Ahmad Al Saeedi, consultant urologist and robotic surgeon at DHA’s Dubai Hospital led his team in removing the healthy kidney from the donor using laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and 3D reconstruction and printing. Dubai Hospital is the first hospital to conduct a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy in the UAE.

Dr Saeedi said that 3D reconstruction and printing technology available at the DHA was utilised to create a replica of the kidney to help identify the exact length of the vessels prior to the procedure and so ensure a successful transplant procedure for the recipient.

“After carefully studying the 3D printed replicas we conducted a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy procedure, which is the internationally preferred procedure for kidney removal in live donors, because it offers quick recovery, less pain, and a shorter hospital stay. The minimally invasive procedure requires four small incisions (each only 1 cm wide) to conduct the procedure. We then enlarged one of the incision to 10cm to remove the kidney,” said Dr Al Saeedi who revealed that the donor’s sister was on her feet the next day and was discharged shortly after.
Meanwhile, Andrea Risaliti Consultant, General Surgery and Chairman of Organ Transplant Committee at DHA and Professor of Surgery at the University of Udine and Dr Zaid Abdul Aziz, General Surgery Consultant and Head of the Bariatric Unit in Dubai Hospital and his team conducted the organ transplant.

“During the transplant surgery, we placed the healthy kidney donated from the sister into the lower abdomen of the patient’s groin. The new, donated kidney can do the work that both kidneys used to do. The surgery was a success as the kidney started working immediately after the procedure was done.”
Dr Andrea said that unless the damaged kidneys causes infections or high blood pressure or are cancerous, they could stay in the body. He added that this is the first transplant conducted from a living donor at DHA facilities and that organ transplant from living donors has a higher rate of survival, which is 95 per cent.
Dr Amna Khalifa AlHadari, Consultant and Head of Nephrology Department at Dubai Hospital along with her team, oversaw the patient’s case since he was receiving dialysis in 2016 until after he was discharged from the kidney transplant surgery. “Going through dialysis three times a week was taking a toll on the young Emirati patient so when we got the opportunity to conduct the surgery at the DHA we approached him. He showed interest so the medical and surgical team met with him and his sister multiple times to give them more information on the procedure. We then conducted all the pre-transplant investigations necessary and other tests required by different departments, which all were indicating that the pair were a match and that they were psychologically and physically ready for the procedure.”

The medical team then met to extensively discuss and plan the patient’s journey to make sure it goes as smooth as possible and ensure the safety and the success of the procedure.

“Following the procedure the patients were moved to the ICU were they were closely monitored. They were then moved to a regular room allocated by our team to ensure their comfort. We found that the patient’s kidney started responding and he was able to pass urine in the first 24 hours following the surgery. The patient was discharged in 10 days while the sister was discharged in five days,” said Dr AlHadari.
The sister of the patient, Aysha, who was present at the press conference, thanked the DHA surgeons who performed the procedure saying, “I am very thankful for Dr Yasir and Dr Andrea, they gave me the positive energy and knowledge I need before the procedure and made me feel comfortable with taking this step to save my brother’s life. My main concern when I woke up from surgery was that my brother feels better and I am happy now that he has a functioning kidney.”
The patient, Khalid, who also attended the press conference said, “My health situation was really deteriorating, I used to get tired quickly and I couldn’t walk much. I am really thankful for my sister because my mental and physical health is much better than before.”

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