London, May 29: British surgeons have carried out world’s fastest liver transplant after completing the barrage of tests and the operations within three days of finding a match, it has been revealed.
Billy Sewell, 24, was on the verge of death when a childhood friend stepped forward to offer himself as a donor, the Telegraph reported.
Luke Gumble was found to be a better match than family members and immediately agreed to donate 60 per cent of his liver.
Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London completed physical and psychological tests which would normally take weeks to plan within days.
The men subsequently underwent simultaneous operations in adjacent theatres, to ensure the donor liver portion was removed from Gumble at just the right time for it to be placed in Sewell.
The donor was operated on for seven hours and the recipient for nine.rofessor Max Malago, who led the joint operation, said a live donor was “the only hope” for Sewell.
“I can’t recall a live case where we’ve operated so quickly. This was a patient needing a live transplant so urgently that we had no more than a couple of days to go through loads of tests and paper work, he said.
“Even though there was extreme urgency everything had to be done by the book.”
“We think this is the first time that a live liver transplant has taken place so quickly between two adults,” he added.
To complicate matters, it all happened over a weekend, when hospitals tend to have fewer staff.
“It was an unusual situation and we had to respond by working very quickly. It was a fantastic team effort.
“Somehow we managed to get it all done between a Friday night and a Monday morning.
“All the time we were conscious that with every hour that passed we might lose Billy. He was that ill he could have gone at any time,” Malago said.
Sewell, from Stevenage, Herts, was diagnosed with liver failure just before Christmas. Doctors do not know why it struck down the otherwise fit and healthy roofer.
Several family members, his girlfriend and Mr Gumble volunteered themselves as potential donors.
Liver donors have to be a compatible blood group and have organs that are a similar shape and size.
Sewell’s sister Kizzie-Beth, 26, was the right blood group and size, but was rejected on liver shape. However, Gumble was found to be an ideal match. (ANI)