Two Kidneys, One Chance: India's First Dual Kidney Transplant

March 21, 2024
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    In a significant medical breakthrough, AIIMS Delhi recently accomplished its inaugural dual kidney transplant, presenting a beacon of hope for numerous individuals awaiting kidney transplants across India.

    This pioneering procedure, where two kidneys from a single donor are transplanted simultaneously into a recipient, signifies a noteworthy advancement in addressing the acute shortage of organs in the country.

    This remarkable achievement not only underscores the resilience and innovation of medical science but also sheds light on the potential of utilizing resources that would otherwise go untapped.

    The recent transplant involved a 51-year-old woman undergoing dialysis, who received kidneys from a 78-year-old donor. While the donor's advanced age might raise questions, it exemplifies the concept of expanded criteria donors (ECD) and the utilization of organs that might otherwise be rejected. Dr. Asuri Krishna, the Additional Professor of Surgery at AIIMS who led the surgery, explains the rationale behind this decision.

    Maximizing Organ Utilization: The Role of Elderly Donors

    In traditional kidney transplants, organs from younger donors are preferred due to their higher efficiency and longevity. However, in cases involving elderly donors, such as the 78-year-old donor in this instance, both kidneys are transplanted into a single recipient, a practice seldom undertaken.

    Dr. Asuri elucidates that despite the donor's age, the transplanted kidneys are expected to function effectively for 8-10 years, offering a significant improvement in the recipient's quality of life.

    The significance of dual kidney transplants extends beyond the immediate recipient. With a majority of individuals needing renal replacement therapy being over 50 years old, the scarcity of organs poses a formidable challenge.

    Dual kidney transplants from elderly donors present a viable solution to this predicament by not only addressing the demand for organs but also maximizing the utilization of available resources. Dr. Asuri emphasizes that this surgery exemplifies the efficient allocation of organs to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the organ donation ecosystem.

    The surgical procedure itself presents unique challenges, particularly in positioning the transplanted kidneys alongside the recipient's native kidneys. In this case, the recipient now harbors four kidneys, with the new organs placed heterotopically on the patient's right side. The complexity of the surgery underscores the expertise and precision required in such medical interventions, further highlighting the remarkable accomplishment achieved by the medical team at AIIMS Delhi.

    As India grapples with the growing burden of renal failure and the perennial shortage of organs, innovations such as dual kidney transplantation offer a glimmer of hope. By pushing the boundaries of conventional transplant practices and leveraging the potential of elderly donors, medical professionals pave the way for more inclusive and efficient organ allocation systems.

    The success of AIIMS Delhi's pioneering surgery serves as a beacon of progress in the field of organ transplantation, offering renewed optimism for patients awaiting life-saving transplants across the nation.

    1. Dialysis versus transplantation in the treatment of end-stage renal disease - (


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