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22 July 2024

Burjeel Medical City carries out first deceased donor liver transplant

By E247

The medical team at Burjeel Medical City (BMC) in Abu Dhabi, the flagship facility of Burjeel Holdings, performed a successful liver transplant surgery for a 66-year-old patient, thanks to a deceased 23-year-old donor, giving her a new life after struggling with liver cirrhosis and liver cancer for two years.

Fatima was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a condition where the body’s immune system attacks liver cells. In 2022, she was diagnosed with decompensated liver cirrhosis. A year later, she developed hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). She consulted doctors at BMC who recommended a liver transplant, considering the severity of her condition. Since 2023, Fatima has been under the care of Dr. Rehan Saif, Director of the Burjeel Abdominal Multi-Organ Transplant Program, BMC.

Once BMC got empanelled into the Deceased Donor Liver Transplant Program, Fatima underwent pre-liver transplant evaluation. She was put on the waitlist of the Emirates Organ Transplant Centre and Ministry of Health and Prevention for six months. Although she was called for a transplant three times previously, the donor liver was not a suitable match due to various clinical reasons.

Following the confirmation from the Organ Transplant Team, the doctors at BMC went ahead with organ retrieval first and then the liver transplant surgery. A multi-disciplinary effort by the medical team, including the nursing and rehabilitation teams, as well as the administrative team, Transplant Manager, Transplant Coordinator and a social worker, led to the success of the procedure.

According to Dr. Rehan, the surgery was extremely challenging, but Fatima is recovering well with a healthy functioning liver graft.

The successful liver transplant at BMC highlights the UAE’s capabilities in providing advanced healthcare to everyone in need. "In light of the introduction of our new programme at BMC, our transplant team brings extensive experience to the forefront. We are enthusiastic about broadening our scope of care to encompass both adult and pediatric liver diseases (both deceased and living donor liver transplantation), thereby offering this invaluable service to the UAE and beyond,” Dr. Rehan stated.