13th April, Amritsar: Liver diseases can result from several factors such as excessive consumption of alcohol, viral infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C virus and other infections), autoimmune, drug / medications etc. Every year, approx. 10 lakh patients are reportedly diagnosed with liver cirrhosis across globe. Punjab has seen a significant rise in number of cases of liver ailments. Keeping this in view, and to provide ease of access to the residents of Amritsar and nearby regions, Fortis Hospital, Gurugram has been conducting its monthly OPD services for liver related ailments for the past two years.
The special OPD services are functional on first Wednesday of every month at Sarvhit Gastrocity I/S PAARVATI Devi hospital Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar. The OPD services has not only been providing expert opinions but has also cut down on the travel to metro cities for primary consultations.
The OPD trend conducted for the past 2 years reveal that atleast 70% of the liver transplant surgeries performed by the doctors at Fortis Hospital Gurugram attribute to Punjab. The data also shows that over 150 patients have been screened so far out of which 75% of them have been suffering from fatty liver condition, 15% had liver Cirrhosis, and 10% of them were in dire need of liver transplant.
“The prevalence of liver diseases is on the rise in the country (especially Punjab), owing chiefly to lifestyle factors. The Liver disease range from mild spectrum of self-limiting illness due to infection or fat deposition in liver to the severe form with cirrhosis, acute or acute on chronic liver failure requiring transplantation. With advancing age and increasing epidemic of obesity more and more people are now developing obesity related liver disease called NASH or Non-alcoholic steato hepatitis. While liver transplant is giving fresh lease of life to thousands of patients with liver diseases, the steep rise in liver-related problems in recent years makes it even more crucial for patients to have access to early diagnosis. Our focus is to enable patients in need to access timely, expert and quality healthcare services, irrespective of geographic barriers.” Said Dr. Vivek Vij, Chairman, LTP & HBP Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Delhi-NCR
According to the recent reports of WHO, Liver related diseases are being recognized as one of the second chronic diseases which are becoming the reason of increasing death rate in India. As per the recent data provided by Globacan India 2020, Liver cancer was ranked 10th among the most frequent cancer in India, accounting for around 35000 cases new cases of liver cancer recorded, which was ranked 12th in 2018.
Explaining the Liver Transplant Surgery, Dr Vij added, “Over the years, the donor surgery procedure has evolved and become very safe. Liver is a unique organ which will grow back to the near normal size and functioning in a period of few months to a year. Laparoscopic Live Donor liver surgery is the latest innovation in field of LDLT. Under this procedure, the donor surgery is performed through small holes, then the liver is extracted through lower abdomen incision. LDLT is an established treatment for all types of end stage liver diseases including liver cancer. In these patients, timely referral of a patient to a transplant Centre is very important. Moreover, the laparoscopic liver donor surgery has significant advantages over conventional open donor surgery including less pain, faster recovery, and better aesthetically. Currently, Fortis Hospital, Gurugram is the only hospital in India actively performing the laparoscopic donor liver surgery.”
“There is a shift from traditional infection related liver disease like hepatitis B and C to the 21st century causes like weight gain, decreasing exercise, increased alcohol consumption, increased incidence of diabetes and longer life expectancy leading to advanced liver disease in patients with multiple other comorbidities. The initial symptoms could be just fatigue and generalised unwellness. As the liver disease advances patient can develop symptoms of jaundice, intestinal bleeding, confusion and water in the belly. Early detection is the key to reversing liver fibrosis as it can restrict or remove causative factors such as limiting alcohol consumption and reduction of weight. What was alarming today was that we saw a lot of patients in the younger age bracket. However, diagnosis is delayed in over 90% of the patients. The establishments of these speciality OPDs will help patients in tier 2 and 3 cities get specialized and timely consultation.” Said Dr Ashish Singhal, Senior Consultant, LTP & HPB Surgery
With recent advancements and improved territorial connectivity, any patient from this region, in case of emergency can reach Fortis Hospital, Gurugram in a much shorter span of time. This is an added convenience for the patients which not only saves the window period for intervention, but also the availability of world class experts’ opinion and services at their doorstep.
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