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NO.362 12.18.2017

Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong Successfully Performs Living Donor Liver Transplantation

Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong has successfully performed a living donor liver transplant on a patient whose hepatitis B has deteriorated into hepatocirrhosis on October 14.


A liver transplant is a difficult surgical operation as it involves anastomosis (surgical connection between two organs) and complicated internal vascular structure in the liver. Hepatitis B is a disease that develops when the liver fails to function properly due to inflammation and fibrosis. It typically develops in the people with chronic cases of hepatitis B and C. Symptoms of hepatocirrhosis include spots on the skin and accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. In severe cases, it can cause hepatic coma and loss of consciousness. A liver transplant offers the most ideal solution in the late stage of hepatocirrhosis for whom there is no other effective treatment option.


A 12-hour joint surgery by surgeons and internal medicine specialists
A 43-year-old patient who had long suffered from hepatitis B developed hepatocirrhosis. He had received many treatments since May, but nothing worked. So he decided to undergo a living donor liver transplant. The donor was his 45-year-old brother.

The operation was performed by over 10 medical staff. It was a difficult surgery which lasted for 12 hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on October 14. About 65 percent of the liver of the donor was transplanted into the recipient. The recipient was transferred to the general ward six days after the surgery. After that, he rapidly recovered with no adverse symptoms.

Professor Seon-hyung Joe, who was the chief surgeon of the operation, noted, “The transplanted liver performed well enough to offset the problems of anastomosis and a relative low level of the recipient’s graft-recipient weight ratio(GRWR). The internal medicine department and surgery department will effectively cooperate to help the patient regain a healthy life without immune rejection.”


State-approved organ transplant center at Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong



A liver transplant includes two types of donation according to the donor ? deceased and living donor. The demand for deceased donor liver far exceeds the supply in South Korea and the average waiting time for deceased donor transplant is 267 days. But a living donor liver transplant can be done as long as a patient finds a donor. For a deceased donor transplant, the 3-year survival rate is 75% and the rate is 85% for a living donor liver transplant.

Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong is famous for excellent medical staff and services for organ transplants. In 2008, it built its reputation as the country’s first hospital that has successfully done Auxiliary Partial Orthotopic Liver Transplant (APOLT) on a patient with Urea Cycle Disorder. APOLT removes only a portion of the diseased liver and then transplants a portion of the healthy liver from a living donor. A total of seven liver transplants were performed in 2014, including simultaneous transplantations of the liver and kidney, and liver transplantation for liver cirrhosis at the end of 2017.

Following a series of successful organ transplants, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong was appointed as Hospital Organ Procurement Organization (HOPO) in 2010. Among the top organ transplant medical agencies responsible for the registry of the brain dead, and evisceration & organ transplantation, it has priority over organ transplantation when an organ donation occurs from a brain dead.

It was also selected as one of the most leading medical institutions for the brain dead in 2012. In the same year, ‘the Ministry of Health & Welfare Prize’ was awarded by Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS) in recognition of its outstanding skills in organ transplants.

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