King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre Lung Transplantation Program has recently completed 100 lung transplantation surgeries after performing a two-lung transplant operation to a 31-year-old patient who was suffering from pulmonary failure which kept him on artificial respiration (as a ventilator dependent) for several months.
His Excellency Dr. QASIM AL-QASABI, Chief Executive Officer of the General Organization of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) mentioned that the sophisticated innovative techniques used by KFSH&RC in conducting the lung transplantations commensurate with the patient’s underlying health condition have enabled KFSH&RC to reach 100 lung transplants by the end of September 2016. He indicated that 100 patients with ages ranging between 13 and 65 years have benefitted from the Lung Transplantation Program since its establishment in 2003. Dr. Al-QASABI pointed out that the Program has scored a success rate of 93% comparable to the rates of success at the advanced international centers in the USA and Europe.
H.E. Dr. Qasim Al Qasabi has highlighted the excellent level attained by the Lung Transplant Program at KFSH&RC, attributing it to the highly qualified surgery consultants with a broad spectrum of expertise, as well as the modern intensive care units, support services, and medical and nursing teams with distinguished competencies, such as the thoracic consultants, lung transplant surgeons, clinical dietitians, social services specialists, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, in addition to the preoperative and postoperative coordinators.
Meanwhile, Dr. WALEED SALEH, Consultant, Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Director of KFSH&RC Lung Transplant Program in Riyadh, stated that the surgical team encountered a great challenge to conduct the transplant operation because the 31-year-old patient was in need of mechanical ventilation as he had been suffering from a chronic lung failure for several months. Moreover, Dr. WALEED added, the patient has a rare blood group (Type B), causing him to be on the waiting list for a long time because of the difficulty of finding a donor with the same blood group profile. He indicated that approval was issued to put the patient on the waiting list after the surgical crew had finalized the necessary tests and conducted a thorough assessment of the case, taking into consideration the high risks associated with lung transplantation in such cases. The patient underwent a two-lung transplant surgery after an appropriate donor was found, Dr. WALEED said and termed the transplant as a success, praise be to Allah, The Almighty.
Thoracic Surgery Consultant and Surgical Director of KFSH&RC Lung Transplant Program Dr. WALEED SALEH paid tribute to the cooperation and constant support received by the Program from the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT).
It is noteworthy that the Lung Transplant Program at KFSH&RC has adopted multiple advanced techniques for lung transplantation including the technique of lobectomy, performing the surgical incision of two pulmonary lobes from a braindead donor and transplanting them in a recipient patient instead of the traditional two-lung replacement surgeries. Moreover, the Program has introduced the pulmonary perfusion technology for patients with lung failure. The perfusion technology aims at keeping the patient in a stable condition until an appropriate donor is available for the transplant surgery. The program also uses the technology of perfusion where a donor’s lung is rehabilitated outside the body. This technique is used for non-transplantable lungs because of congested fluids inside the lung, a case which happens to about 60 percent of brain-dead donors.