Both patients are now home and doing well.
With this achievement, Vietnam has become one of 20 countries in the world having carried out intestinal transplants.
Before surgery, the two patients have completely lost their digestive function and received parenteral nutrition, Director of Military Medical Academy Professor, Lt. Gen. Do Quyet, said.
Without transplant, the patients could face a high risk of vein-related complications and may die at any time. The 42-year-old patient has undergone several operations because of peritonitis and intestinal obstruction in different hospitals.
Specifically, his intestine has been cut off several times and his small intestine is just 80 centimeters in May, 2007.
On May 2, 2020, the patient was diagnosed with irreversible intestinal failure reported by physicians of the Military Medical Academy.
Another case was a 26-year-old patient from the Northwest Province of Lai Chau who also suffered from peritonitis and necrosis of the entire small intestine which is 20 centimeters long. On September 29, the patient was transferred to the 103 Military Hospital with a diagnosis of cachexia due to extreme-short- bowel syndrome at the last stage.
Local medical experts said at a consultation that the two men must undergo intestine transplants. The infirmary reported to the Ministry of Health about the cases.
The organ transplants surgeries were operated by the doctors of the 103 Military Hospital and Japanese experts of Tohoku University Hospital with living donors - the mother of the young man and the brother of the elderly man respectively.
Patients undergoing intestinal transplants must use different anti-rejection and anti-infection drugs; therefore, such surgeries are more difficult than the other types of organ transplants. Currently, only 61 centers for bowel transplants in 19 countries have carried out 1,000 such operations including Vietnam, Mr. Quyet said.
Deputy Health Minister Tran van Thuan said this is the first time Vietnam has been successful in carrying out living-donor bowel transplant. This marks the country’s great progress in organ transplants generally and the health sector particularly.
According to Prof. Dr. Pham Gia Khanh, former Director of Military Medical Academy, the first bowel transplant in the world was performed in 1988. After 28 years, Vietnam finally has made the achievement in such transplants since the first kidney transplant was performed.
Moreover, In Japan, the rate of bowel transplant patients who live for another 5 and 10 years is about 80 percent and 60 percent respectively.
Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long sent letter congratulating the infirmary’s accomplishment.