First living donor kidney transplants in Dubai

DG Staff

DUBAI 25 December 2020: The first living donor kidney transplant surgeries in Dubai were performed by Mediclinic City Hospital, in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital.

The first surgery was performed on 14 November on a 34-year-old patient who had been on peritoneal dialysis since January 2019 and on the transplant waiting list since July 2019. He underwent successful transplant surgery using a kidney from a live donor who is his wife’s 23-year-old brother.

The second surgery was performed on 17 November on a 41-year-old Emirati female patient who was suffering from polycystic kidney disease. Because of her deteriorated kidney function, she had started haemodialysis in September 2020. She found a donor, her 36 –year-old old brother, who was a suitable match.

Under the care of a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nephrologists and nurses, the recipients and donors of both transplant surgeries were discharged within 10 days and are doing well without any complications.

Dr. Farhad Janahi, Assistant Professor of Surgery at MBRU and Consultant Urological and Transplant Surgeon at Mediclinic City Hospital, said: “Performing living donor kidney transplants is a new dawn for our patients with kidney failure and asserts our medical and surgical teams’ capabilities.”

Successful Collaboration

“The success of performing these live donor transplants in Dubai is an ultimate demonstration of collaboration and team efforts of three institutions, pulling together all their resources and delivering the best healthcare for patients suffering from end stage renal disease,” commented Dr. Waldo Concepcion, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital.

Dr. Ramzi Ayache, Consultant Nephrologist at Mediclinic City Hospital further added: “In our continuous effort to support our patients with kidney failure and their families, the launch of the living kidney donor transplant program aims to shorten the time the patient spends on a donor waiting list, improve long term kidney survival because of a better genetic matching, avoid initiation of dialysis when possible and schedule in advance the day of transplantation when donor and patient are ready.”

He further explained: “After a strict evaluation before approval, the family member will donate only one kidney to his relative with failed kidneys. The remaining kidney compensates for the loss of one kidney and allows him to have a normal life. Even though the long-term risk of kidney donation is minimal when compared with the health risks in the general population, we recommend that the donor follows a healthy lifestyle and has a medical checkup annually.

Quality of Life

“The benefit of live donation is obvious for the patient for the reasons cited above but also for the donor, as studies showed that donors tend to have higher quality of life after donation, with more self-esteem and increased sense of well-being by helping their loved ones.”

5 Transplants in less than 10 days under the MBRU Transplant Program:

Earlier this month the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the success of a living kidney transplant surgery on a 20-year-old-patient at Al Qassimi Hospital Sharjah. Surgeons from the MBRU Transplant Program, Dr. Farhad Janahi and Dr. Waldo Concepcion, led the surgery in collaboration with the medical team at Al Qassimi Hospital.

MBRU joined forces with Al Qassimi Hospital earlier this year to support its accreditation as a kidney transplant center. This collaborative effort is an illustration of the objective of the MBRU Transplant Program which aims to establish through partnerships with healthcare providers services for organ transplantation to meet the growing demand in the country, help those patients by increasing the number of organ transplantation in the UAE which eventually improves the quality of life of those patients and their families. The MBRU Transplant Program works in partnership with the National Transplant Program of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Tripartite Agreement

In the beginning of the year, MBRU, Mediclinic Middle East and Al Jalila Children’s signed a tripartite agreement to collaborate and work together to support the organ transplant efforts in the country under the MBRU Organ Transplant Program. Today, the 3 institutions act as one front in this effort.

In less than 10 days, the program surgeons Dr. Waldo and Dr. Farhad carried out the first 2 living donor kidney transplants in Mediclinic City Hospital, a living donor kidney transplant in Al Qassimi Hospital along with Dr. Suad Sajwani and the medical team of the hospital; and 2 deceased donor kidney transplants in Mediclinic City Hospital and Al Jalila Children’s.

The MBRU Transplant program has 17 total transplants to date since its launch in 2016.


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