After PGIMER, AIIMS to conduct lung transplant

Healthwire Bureau

New Delhi, January 27: After PGIMER Chandigarh, Country’s premier medical institute AIIMS will become second public institution to conduct lung transplants.

It would be first in the national capital.

The health ministry has granted the institute to conduct the life-saving surgery.

AIIMS is now screening potential candidates — patients with chronic, end-stage lung disease for whom no effective medical therapy exists — to prepare a waiting list.

Dr Anant Mohan, professor and head of pulmonary medicine at AIIMS, said one patient had been selected for the surgery a few weeks ago but he died before the transplant could be carried out.

“We are preparing a list of two to three other potential candidates,” he added.

Lung transplant, like a heart transplant, can only be carried out with organ donated by a deceased donor.

Till date, only about 4,000 such transplants have been done globally, including about 200 in India.

All lung transplants in India, except for one, have been performed at private hospitals where the procedure can cost Rs 20-30 lakh or more. Follow-up medications, which have to be taken lifelong, cost several lakhs a year.

AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said the institute will not only conduct the transplant free of cost, but will also provide the follow-up medicines at no cost.

A lung transplant is a surgical procedure to remove one or both diseased lungs from a patient and replace it with a healthy one from a cadaver donor.

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