SINGAPORE: Twenty Singaporeans die from advanced liver disease every year while waiting for a transplant from a cadaveric or brain—dead donor, according to figures from the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation.
Not many people know of an alternative procedure a living donor liver transplant, in which a living person donates a portion of their liver to another.
The procedure has already enabled a son to help his ailing mother prolong her life.
For 55—year old Madam Normah, who was diagnosed with liver disease in April, a living donor liver transplant was the best option. Her 31—year old son Mohammad Naim turned out to be a suitable donor.
Doctors transplanted 40 per cent of his liver to his mother, in a simultaneous operation, on May 30. Both patients have since recovered fully.
While it is not widely known outside of medical circles, doctors say the procedure has emerged as a critical surgical option for patients suffering from liver disease.
"A lot of patients are not aware that they can opt for living donor liver transplant. To find a living donor is quite easy, as long as their blood group is compatible they can be a living donor to someone with advanced stage liver disease," Dr Salleh Ibrahim, a surgeon at the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation said.
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