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Belarus : Belarusian surgeons past 500 liver transplantations.

The 500th liver transplantation has been done in Belarus, BelTA learned from Oleg Rummo, Head of the National Research Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation.

The surgery was done on 29 October and turned out to be rather mundane. The 53-year-old patient had been suffering from liver cirrhosis and C-type viral hepatitis. He is feeling well now and can move about on his own.

The first liver transplantation in Belarus was done on the night of 2-3 April 2008. According to Oleg Rummo, it was a major event in the countrys life. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with the team, who had done the surgery. Back then the head of state noted he expected the number of liver transplantations in Belarus to eventually reach 500 and even 5,000. The first surgery was done with this in mind. Not because we wanted to show what we can do, said Oleg Rummo.

It has been less than ten years since then and an important milestone has been secured. According to Oleg Rummo, Belarusian surgeons will be able to reach 5,000 liver transplantations given enough time. Oleg Rummo is pleased with the professional development of the team since 2011 when they crossed the 100 liver transplantations milestone. Within a very short time the organ and tissue transplantation center has managed to start doing 50 liver transplantations per annum in a routine manner. Each surgery saves one life and gives the patient hope for the future.

Liver transplantations are authorized if medics expect the patient to live for at least 12 months after the surgery, explained Sergei Korotkov, Head of the Transplantation Department of the National Research Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation. People, who seek transplants, are people with first-class disabilities. A council of top medics puts them on the waiting list. About 90 people are on the liver transplantation waiting list now. The average waiting time is about three months.

The organ and tissue transplantation center performs over 300 organ transplantations per year. Six transplantations have been performed in the last 48 hours, putting a major strain on the entire team, said Oleg Rummo. Every day we collect organs or transplant them. Other centers in Belarus also perform these surgeries. The total number of organ transplantations exceeds 500 every year, said the official. So far Belarusian medics have transplanted over 3,000 kidneys, 270 hearts, and eight lungs as well as one heart-lungs complex, ten liver-kidneys complexes, 20 sets of pancreatic gland-kidneys, and two sets of heart-kidneys. From six to ten livers and from 15 to 20 kidneys are transplanted into Belarusian children every year. If we sum up our overall experience, weve done 56 liver transplantations on patients aged from 4 months to 17 years and about 170 kidney transplantations on kids 2 years old and over, specified Oleg Rummo.

Transplantation surgeries on foreign patients represent up to 10% of the total. The money is spent on treating Belarusians, paying remunerative salaries to the personnel, and buying equipment. Doing more surgeries for foreigners is not the goal by itself. Treating Belarusians is a priority. One surgery for a foreigner means three or four additional surgeries for Belarusians.

Speaking about the future of transplantation surgeries, Oleg Rummo said he was confident that specialists will learn how to grow organs in the not-too-distant future. Then we will be able to stop using organs of dead people. Not because it is a bad practice. But if we grew an organ using the patients own cells and tissues, a lot of issues would go away. I am convinced that the problem will be resolved within the next 30-50 years, noted the official.

BelTA reported earlier that a new transplantology center will be built in Belarus. The head of state has already given the relevant instruction. Work is now in progress on design documents and the organization of the civil engineering project. Medics will be able to move into the new premises in 2021-2022.

By the way, while reporters kept talking to the specialists, the 501st liver transplantation surgery was completed in the organ and tissue transplantation center and the 502nd surgery began.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:4EXBE
Date:Nov 2, 2017
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