Date
26 July 2017
Cheng Chi-min (seated, middle) is shown with his donor daughters (left and fourth from left), wife (second from left) and another daughter. Behind them are some members of the liver transplant team. Photo: Ta Kung Pao
Cheng Chi-min (seated, middle) is shown with his donor daughters (left and fourth from left), wife (second from left) and another daughter. Behind them are some members of the liver transplant team. Photo: Ta Kung Pao

Dying father saved in historic liver transplant from two donors

Hong Kong doctors have pulled off medical history after a successful liver transplant on a man who received parts of a liver from his two daughters in a simultaneous procedure.

Cheng Chi-min, who was suffering from acute liver failure, underwent a 12-hour transplant on July 20 by a 47-strong surgical team in Queen Mary Hospital, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Cheng and his daughters are in stable condition.

The 59-year-old Macau resident was diagnosed with acute liver failure on July 11 in Macau.

He was moved to Queen Mary Hospital four days later but slipped into a coma after his condition deteriorated to a point where his liver was performing only 10 percent of its function.

Doctors had given him a week to live if he did not receive a liver transplant.

Cheng’s daughters — 22 and 23 years old — were both found to be suitable donors but the doctors had concerns because their liver was too small for the purpose.

They decided to take part of the organ from both.

Albert Chan, an assistant professor of liver and pancreatic surgery in the University of Hong Kong, said previous successful transplants involving multiple donors had been done in Taiwan and South Korea.

These were done by combining sections of the organ before the transplant.

By contrast, the Hong Kong surgeons stitched one lobe after another directly into the patient’s remaining liver after removing the diseased parts, he said.

Professor Lo Chung-mau, head of the university’s surgery department, said having two simultaneous donors for one transplant is risky and not widely applicable.

There is no margin for error, he said.

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TL/AC/RA

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