The Hanoi-based Saint Paul Hospital has become the first hospital of the local level to successfully perform a kidney transplant, according to Pham Manh Than, head of the hospital's Planning and General Affairs Ward.

Earlier, only central hospitals, such as Bach Mai, Vietnam-Germany or Military Hospital 103, possessed the technology to carry out such a surgery.

The patient receiving the kidney transplant is Quan Thi Hang, 29, from the northern province of Thai Binh, who is married with two daughters.

The donor is Hang's mother, Luong Thi Thao, 49, who is, so far, reported to be in stable condition.
Hang had symptoms of headache, vertigo and tiredness at the beginning of last year and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, her treatment was ineffective and her condition worsened.

By February, Hang was diagnosed with Stage Four kidney failure — the most serious and advanced stage of renal failure — and opted to undergo a kidney transplant at the Saint Paul Hospital.

Hang's surgery was carried out on December 28 by a surgery team including 56 doctors and nurses. It was led by Associate Professor Nguyen Cong To, who is also the deputy director of the hospital, and other experts from Military Hospital 103.

The surgery lasted about two hours. Half an hour after the surgery, Hang passed 200ml of urine, which is viewed as a sign of the medical procedure's success.

Director Nguyen Pham Y Nhi said that to prepare for the hospital's first kidney transplant, over the past year, the hospital assigned a total of 100 doctors to the Bach Mai Hospital, the Vietnam-Germany Hospital, Military Hospital 103 and the France-based Limoges University to learn about the transplant technique.

The hospital also assembled the necessary equipment.

Nhi added that a kidney transplant was the simplest possible, and that the hospital expected to carry out a liver transplant next year.

So far, 14 hospitals in the country have carried out kidney transplants successfully.

The cost of a kidney transplant in a foreign hospital is about 800 million-1 billion VND (38,000-47,600 USD), whereas the cost is only 150 million VND (7,100 USD) at a domestic hospital.

The hospital provided free treatment for the first kidney transplant.

The biggest challenge for the transplant, Than noted, was the lack of kidney donors.
Every year, there are about 2,500 cases of brain-dead patients, but only a handful make arrangements for organ donation.

Associate Professor Hoang Manh An, director of Military Hospital 103, suggested that the State put better policies in place to encourage organ donations.-VNA