First lung transplant recipient in Vietnam discharged from hospital hinh anh 1Doctors at the hospital present flowers to the first-ever discharged patient after a lung transplant (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) –
A 38-year-old patient who received a lung transplant from a brain dead person was discharged from hospital one month after the successful surgery at the Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital, as he was in good health and had totally recovered. 
The Hanoi-based Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital revealed the identity of and held a ceremony to see off the first patient who was able to come out of the hospital after a successful lung transplant, on October 4.

The patient, aged 38, received a pulmonary transplantation from a brain dead person. One month after the transplant, he gradually recovered and was discharged from the hospital.

Previously, he suffered from terminal bronchiectasis and his illness worsened in the recent 10 years. The man was constantly admitted to the hospital and always needed an oxygen concentrator.

The surgery to remove the lung from the donor and transplant it into the recipient took place from 4 pm on August 12 to past 6 am on August 13, lasting for 15 hours straight.

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Huu Uoc, Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Centre under the Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital, said the condition of the organ recipients following the surgeries is very complex.

Especially, for lung transplant recipient, post-operation care is the most challenging due to various matters of concern, such as lung infection prevention, respiratory care, immunosuppressant drugs, physical therapy and body enhancement, among others.

Fortunately, the two new transplanted lungs appeared to adapt to their new environment, helping the recipient return to normal life, while his diet, activity and respiration greatly improved.

Uoc noted that after 1.5 months of constant care, the patient’s condition was stable and he was allowed to come out of the hospital.

This is also the first lung transplant recipient in Vietnam who totally recovered and was able to be discharged. 

The first lung transplant from a brain dead donor was also performed by doctors at the Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital on December 12, 2018.

The recipient, 17 years old, suffered from pulmonary edema, a special form of cancer, coupled with severe organ dysfunction. 

The transplant was a success in terms of technical aspect. The patient is still alive nearly 10 months after the surgery and receiving special care at the hospital.

On October 4, Prof. Tran Binh Giang, Director of the Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital, decided to set up the hospital’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Centre. 

Over the past 60 years, the hospital has carried out thousands of complex heart surgeries, notably 26 heart and two lung transplant operations. 

Vietnam has so far conducted 3,200 kidney, 105 liver, 27 heart and only three lung transplants.   

The first two transplants of lungs were performed by Vietnamese doctors and their foreign partners at Military Hospitals 103 and 108 in Hanoi.

The number of patients waiting for donated tissues and organs in Vietnam is growing fast, while only a few of them have had the opportunity to receive organ transplants due to the scarcity of donors in the country.

According to the Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation under the Ministry of Health, in Hanoi’s major hospitals alone, around 6,000 patients are in need of kidney and more than 1,500 patients are on the waiting list for liver transplants. Over 6,000 people need cornea replacements, while heart and lung transplants are critical to saving hundreds of others.

As of the end of August 2018, the number of brain-dead and circulatory-dead donors had reached 223, accounting for 6.6 percent of the total donors. The majority of organs used in transplant in Vietnam are from living donors.

Since 2018, the centre has cooperated with Vietnam Airlines to transport tissue and organs on its flights for free./.