June 2, 2023


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12 hours in 3 operating rooms.. Details of the first lung transplant in Egypt

An Egyptian medical team succeeded in performing the first lung transplant for a patient from living donors, after medical procedures and preparations that took several months, as this type of surgery had not been performed in Egypt before.

Dr. Mohamed Hussein, Director of the Lung Transplant Unit at Ain Shams University, Assistant Professor of Thoracic Surgery, told Al-Hurra that “the operation is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and not only in Egypt, because all surgeries that took place before in the region In the Middle East, it was a newly deceased person, not a living donor, which makes it very difficult to perform the surgery, and the Egyptian medical team, whose members consisted of 13 different medical specialties, was able to successfully perform the operation.

4 years ago, an Egyptian medical team began working on performing lung transplant surgeries in Egypt. For this purpose, two medical teams were sent abroad for training. The first was composed of 10 doctors and went to Kyoto University in Japan, and the second to King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh, in which “Hussein” held the position The director of the lung transplantation program in it, and with the entry into advanced stages of implementation, the Covid-19 pandemic affected the work plans, which were delayed by nearly a year and a half due to the medical restrictions and precautionary measures that swept the world due to the famous virus.

Hussein says, “A preparatory clinic for lung patients in Egypt was opened and announced several months ago to receive patients and donors, and a large number of patients came to it, but there was great difficulty finding a match between patients and donors at the level of tissues, blood tests, and other medical procedures.” These are the medical procedures that make the transfer and transplantation of lungs from living people more difficult and more dangerous than the operations in which lungs are transferred from newly deceased patients.

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During that period, the patient who underwent surgery, called Sahar, 28 years old, was present. She was suffering from respiratory failure as a result of massive cirrhosis, high pulmonary artery pressure and heart failure.

The two donors to the patient were her two brothers, and “Hussein” indicates that “the two donor brothers were very enthusiastic about performing the operation on their sister, and we started the preparatory procedures and compatibility analyzes, and the result was positive at the level of tissue compatibility and blood type, and it was decided that the surgery would take place last Wednesday after informing the patient and her family about All details and information.

The surgery took 10 full hours inside the operating rooms, in addition to two hours of anesthesia before the start, and “Hussein” adds the scene during the surgery that “the medical team was distributed to three operating rooms. With the brother who donated part of the left lung, the medical team continued to perform the surgery for 10 continuous hours until we finished transplanting the two lobes into the patient’s body.

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Inside the three operating rooms, there were 9 surgeons, with 3 surgeons in each room, in addition to 6 anesthesia consultants, nursing staff, and the rest of the medical team that performed the surgery. Hussein says that he had previously participated in nearly 300 lung transplant surgeries in both France and Saudi Arabia, where he He used to work there, but he believes that the surgery that was performed in Egypt is one of the most difficult of these operations due to the patient’s condition, and the fact that the transfer is from living donors, not from dead ones, and also because it is the first case of its kind in Egypt.

Regarding the condition of the patient and the donors, he says, “The donors are in good condition and will leave the hospital on Thursday. The patient is also in stable condition, and is improving day after day. Her vital functions are good, her blood oxygen level is good, and she is still on a respirator.”

Egypt needs to annually perform between 300 to 400 lung transplants, according to international ratios that estimate the needs of the number of operations per million citizens, and due to the inability to perform transplant operations in Egypt, complications lead to the death of most patients, which pushes Egypt to move strongly towards expanding surgeries Lung transplantation to meet the needs of patients. “Hussein” expects that “with the first surgery, operations will be expanded periodically according to the available cases, in the event that there are suitable donors based on compatibility analyzes between them and the patients.”

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He hopes that there will be more positive steps in starting the transplant program from recently deceased people because this is much better than transplants from living donors. The medical team that performed the lung transplant surgery at Ain Shams Specialized Hospital includes doctors and specialists from 13 different medical specialties, including chest specialties, intensive care, anesthesia, radiology, physical medicine, chest surgeries, and clinical pharmacy. The team is working on performing more of these surgeries in the future.

At the end of last September, Egypt announced the establishment of a regional center for organ transplantation in Egypt, to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa at the Nasser Institute Hospital, which is being developed into an integrated medical city and in cooperation with specialized international companies to create an integrated system that includes a database of organ transplants, patients and donors. .