Apollo Hospitals & MMC, New York, hosted first exclusive Congress on Lung transplantation

Apollo Hospitals & MMC, New York, hosted first exclusive Congress on Lung transplantation

Hyderabad, May 3rd, 2019 : The Apollo Heart and Lung Transplant Institute at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, in collaboration with Montefiore Medical Center, New York, is hosting, India’s first exclusive Conference on Lung transplantationThe two day Congress, Management of Advanced Lung Diseases and Lung Transplantation, will be held on the 4th and 5th of May at HICC Novotel. The Conference is endorsed by the Indian Chest Society, South zone.

Speaking at a press conference, at Apollo Hospitals on Friday, Dr. A.G.K. Gokhale, Organising Chair, Conference on Management of Advanced Lung Diseases & Lung Transplantation and Sr. Consultant, Cardiothoracic, Transplant & Minimal Access Surgery, Apollo Hospitals; Dr. Harish Seethamraju, Medical Director, Advanced Lung Failure & Lung Transplant, Montefiore Medical Center, New York and Dr. Hari Prasad, President-Hospitals Division, Apollo Hospitals Group; said, Lung related ailments pose a challenge for both patients and clinicians. Clinicians have limited treatment options and patients are exhausted of their resources. Lung transplantation is increasingly becoming the preferred option of treatment. There are nearly 50000 patients in India who are likely to be benefitted by lung transplantation, done by experienced teams.

In advanced lung diseases like chronic obstructive lung disease and interstitial lung disease, both lungs are destroyed and they do not effectively transfer oxygen into the blood. Often patient becomes bedridden and cannot perform any activities and become dependent on others. The prevalence of interstitial lung disease is up to 97.9 per 100000 per year and the incidence is of 19.4 per 100000 per year. 17% of these may not be benefitted by any treatment and may require Lung transplantation. There are 30 million chronic obstructive lung disease patients in India. As it is a progressive disease, the end stage patients will benefit from Lung transplantation. COPD is the leading cause for lung transplantation throughout the world. Similarly Primary pulmonary hypertension, a condition in which pressures in lung blood vessels increase without a known cause, is a very common problem in our country. It is the under diagnosed, under treated, under estimated, silent killer. Patients with Primary pulmonary hypertension can benefit from optimisation of medication and Lung transplantation.

Dr. Gokhale said, The incidence of lung disease is on the rise in India, there are thousands of patients awaiting care, but they don't have effective treatment options in India. The Patients with chronic lung conditions, tend to have poor quality of life and majority of them are home bound, with home oxygen Lung transplantation currently being the preferred treatment option for a variety of these end stage Lung diseases. Remarkable progress has taken place worldwide in the field of Lung transplantation, which is the option for all such patients. However we lag behind in replicating the success rates on par with them. This conference will be focusing on how to improve the quality of life of such patients and they can live longer. Over 50000 patients in the country are desperately waiting for Lung transplantation, since the program of Lung transplantation has not really taken off in India, these patients continue to suffer. Kidney and liver transplant programs are doing well, even heart transplant has picked up in the country. But we lag behind the world in the lung transplant area. Generally the rate of success in lung transplant is low in comparison to other transplants. The conference will focus on who are suitable for lung transplant, what are the advances in transplantation care, how to handle post operative and several related aspects will be discussed at the conference. The Lung specialists in India will be educated and trained in the lung transplant area.

Dr. Hari Prasad said, these two-days are extremely important for specialists taking care of lung diseases. There is a significant disease burden of lungs in the country off late due to smoking, pollution, auto-immune diseases. Unlike other diseases there isn't enough awareness about lung diseases nor is there enough infrastructure to take care of these patients. This conference is to bridge that gap. Though the first lung transplant in India was done way back in 1990 and despite it being simpler than the other transplants, be it liver, heart etc., the most critical part in lung transplant is how the patient care is rendered pre and post transplant. Across the world, post survival of lung transplant patients is the lowest, to improve upon the outcomes and to prolong survival, we need to gain more exposure to the entire care cycle. In India, Apollo hospital has the largest solid organ transplant program in the country with outcome comparable to the best in the world. Even, the largest number of lung transplants are done by Apollo Hospitals in India. Most lung transplant patients survive at the most for two years, our goal is to ensure a longer life, a better life and for the patient to go back to the community and lead a normal life. In the country around 7500 kidney transplants are done every year but around 2.2 lakh patients are waiting for a kidney transplant at any point of time, a 1000 liver transplants are done every year but there are a lakh of patients waiting for it, we do 500 heart transplants but there are a 50000 people waiting for it. India does 200 lung transplants, Apollo does the largest of these, still there are 50000 waiting for a lung transplant. Every year 5 lakh people die off for want of organ transplant, in the country. The reason for more number of kidney and liver transplants is because they can be taken from a living related donor, but for heart and lung we need a brain dead person to donate. But the surprising element is that while we are doing 500 heart transplants, which means 500 cadavers are donating, but less than half of it are lung transplants, it means all remaining lungs are being wasted and the reason for this wastage is not having a robust program to take care of these lungs and transplanted in deserving individuals. Our objective is to bridge this gap. We have an exclusive Lung Transplant Team at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, headed by renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Padmasree awardee Dr. Alla Gopalakrishna Gokhale. Our team consists of a dedicated transplant pulmonologist Dr. Chaitanya Battu, Anaesthetists, Intensivists, infectious disease physicians, and a well established lung rehabilitation program. The Hospital will be establishing a Multi disciplinary advanced lung failure and Lung transplantation clinic in association with Montefiore Medical Center, New York to bring Global standards to Hyderabad, he adds

Dr. Harish Seethamraju says, taking care of the patient before, during and after lung transplant, involves lot of challenges and that needs certain aspects which are unique to lung transplant to be emphasised on. This conference will help in developing a comprehensive program of international standards to successfully do lung transplant and be able to keep them alive for a long period of time, on par with the care in the best centres in the world.  

The Conference will lay thrust on current aspects of managing advanced lung diseases and various aspects of Lung transplantation, besides two workshops conducted by international faculty on ECMO and Right Heart CatheterisationSome highlight topics being focussed at the Conference are, new lung preservation techniques, optimisation of donor lung, induction chemotherapy, advances in surgical technique, changing trends of anaesthesia and improved out comes in view of better post op immuno supression, overall leading to increased survival. Discussion on advances in medical management of these advanced lung diseases will be the bedrock of the Conference.

The Conference will have over 250 delegates from all over the country and 60 faculty members including 6 international faculty, attending. The speakers are eminent chest clinicians, transplant pulmonologists and surgeons, intensivists, transplant anaesthesiologists, Rheumatologists, Cardiologists, Radiologists, Infectious disease Physicians from USA and India. The Conference is aimed at pulmonologists involved in managing advanced lung diseases, to enhance their skills and to provide an insight into various aspects of lung transplantation, including when to advice patients about it.

Some of the eminent international faculty at the Conference are Dr. Robert Michler, Surgeon in chief, CVTS, Montefiore Medical center, New York; Dr. Harish Seetham Raju, Medical Director, Advanced lung failure and lung transplant , Montefiore Medical center, New York; Dr. Alan Scott Scheinin, Surgical Director, Advanced lung failure and lung transplant, Montefiore Medical center, New York; Dr. Jonathan Leff, Associate Professor, Anaesthesia, Montefiore Medical center, New York; Dr. Hani Sabbour, Cardiologist and Staff Physician, Cleveland clinic, Abu Dhabi and Dr. Sudhakar Pipavath, Professor of Radiology, University of Washington, USA. The faculty from India comprises of Dr. G.C. Khilnani, Retired Professor, HoD, Pulmonology, AIIMS, New Delhi; Dr. Deepak Talwar, Director of Pulmonology, Metro Hospitals, Noida; Dr. Rajadhar, Director, Dept. of Pulmonology, Fortis, Kolkata; Dr. Amith Dhameja, Director, Interventional Pulmonology, Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi; Dr. R. Vijai Kumar, Chairman, Indian Chest Society, South Zone and Dr. Paramjyothi, Dean, Professor, HoD, Pulmonary Medicine, NIMS, Hyderabad.