A mother who lost 20 kilos to suit the size and functioning of a lobe of her liver so she could donate it to her sick daughter are both doing well after a successful transplant at the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva.
The woman was found to be a compatible donor for her 16-month-old daughter, who was born with a congenital liver defect that required an urgent transplant. But donor livers are hard to come by, so the mother decided to lose weight (from 85 kilos to her present 65 kilos) to be a suitable donor of the lobe.
The baby was born with crossed internal organs - a mirror image of the normal - so her surgeons had to consult with others and conduct simulations and special planning of the operation. Eight other Israeli children are waiting for a liver transplant, as are many adults. Because of the shortage of organs, Schneider often removes lobes from a living donor. In adult recipients, the lobe grows to normal size, and the donor's liver grows back to its original size.
The unusual operation last week was performed by Prof. Eitan Mor, head of the hospital's transplant center; Dr. Ran Steinberg, deputy head of surgery; Dr. Natan Bar-Natan, head of the pediatric transplant service; and Dr. Eli Simhi, a senior anesthesiologist. A few days after surgery, the baby was moved from intensive care to a regular pediatrics department and the mother was discharged.
A film on the procedure will be broadcast on cable TV's health channel in January, and some scenes can be viewed on the channel's Web site at www.haimtov.co.il.