Vietnam honored for its achievements in organ transplants at ATW 2023

At the Asian Transplantation Week 2023 (ATW 2023) held in Korea’s Seoul covering hot topics and up-to-date findings in the various fields of transplantation, Vietnam was honored for its achievements in organ transplants.

Surgeons of University Medical Center in HCMC carry out a liver transplant

Many medical establishments in Vietnam have applied advanced techniques in organ transplants producing fruitful results.

According to Director of Cho Ray Hospital Dr. Nguyen Tri Thuc, the hospital successfully performed kidney transplants for the first two cases in 1992 with the support of domestic and foreign experts. This success paved the way for the development of kidney and organ transplantation. After 30 years, Cho Ray Hospital has performed 1,127 kidney transplants with a high success rate.

The hospital is also a pioneer in implementing solutions to expand the source of donated kidneys such as kidney transplants from brain-dead donors, people whose hearts have stopped beating, cross-donor transplants and ABO-incompatible transplantation ( donors and recipients of incompatible blood types).

At the same time, the hospital has used many new techniques to improve treatment quality such as laparoscopic surgery, robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery in kidney removal, proactive kidney transplantation, and transplantation in patients with high immune risk.

Cho Ray Hospital has so far had more than 30 years of performance of kidney transplants, 11 years of liver transplants, and 6 years of heart transplants from living, brain-dead donors to save many lives.

The Military Hospital 108 under the Ministry of National Defense is the leading organ transplant unit in the country, especially liver transplant.

As of early 2024, the hospital has performed 204/500 liver transplants nationwide and is also the unit with the most liver transplants from living donors in the country with 202 cases. This hospital also successfully performed the first lung transplant from a brain-dead donor in Vietnam, and the first limb transplant in the Southeast Asia region.

In 2023, Vietnam's organ transplant field was also be voted as one of the 10 outstanding science and technology events with imprints on multiple organ transplants, organ transplants from brain-dead donors and cross-Vietnam organ transplants between Viet Duc Hospital and Cho Ray Hospital.

Notably, in the early days of 2024, within just 24 hours, doctors at Hanoi-based Viet Duc Hospital took tissue and organs from two brain-dead donors and successfully conducted eight organ transplants.

The Ministry of Health’s statistics show that over the past 30 years, 8,302 people have received organ transplants nationwide. Amongst them, some 7,599 people underwent kidney transplants, 531 liver transplants, 75 heart transplants and thousands of people received corneal transplants.

Previously, only four large hospitals across the country in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hue could perform organ transplant techniques, but now the Ministry of Health has licensed 25 centers and establishments to perform this technique. Even though it is more than 40 years behind the world, up to now Vietnam's level of organ transplantation is on par with many countries, and even the survival rate after organ transplantation in Vietnam is higher than that of many developed countries, while the cost of organ transplantation in the Southeast Asian country is much cheaper than that of many countries.

For instance, the cost of a transplant in Vietnam is currently only 1/8 of that in Thailand and 1/24 of that in the US. Many of Vietnam's leading organ transplant centers and hospitals such as Military Central 108, Viet Duc, Cho Ray, Hue Central, and Military Medical 103 have applied many new advances with many high techniques for good results such as liver resection from living donors by laparoscopic surgery, application of Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence in partial liver transplantation, liver transplantation from brain dead patients.

Moreover, hospitals have implemented liver division techniques for transplantation and simultaneous transplants of multiple organs, kidney transplants by laparoscopic surgery, and kidney transplants in patients with blood group incompatibility.

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of physicians and scientists, the country’s health sector has made strides in organ transplants. Currently, the country has 25 organ transplant centers stretching from North to South.

Vietnamese surgeons help Laos perform two kidney transplants from living donors

In 2023, eight surgeons from Hanoi-based Military Hospital 103 went to assist their peers in Laos’ Central Military Hospital 103 in performing kidney transplants for the first two Laotian patients.

According to Director of Central Military Hospital 103 Colonel Savangxay Dalasath, the two patients' health is currently recovering well and their test results after the operation are good. The two patients have now returned to normal life like other healthy people. The successful surgeries will be an important historical milestone in the history of Laos' health sector.

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