By Vikas Vaidya
Revealing the startling fact that 8 out of 10 patients suffering from liver disease in India got wrong treatment in 2022, Dr Tom Cherian, well-known Liver Transplant expert said, “There are several factors because of which patients received wrong treatment. The lack of awareness is one important factor due to which patients reach hospitals very late. Nobody gives serious thought to liver disease that is the whole trouble. Though alcohol is the main factor because of which one suffers from liver disease mainly, but it is not the only reason.” Capacity of liver is so good that when its lesser portion gets damaged, it doesn’t affect humans to large extent. Obviously it doesn’t reflect in symptoms too leading to patients reaching late to hospitals. The delayed action causes more damage where doctors too become helpless.
“Conditions like hepatitis B may lead to liver sclerosis which is difficult to treat and cure patients. As far as issue of liver transplant is concerned, in most cases doctors are not confident about it. When patients or their relatives enquire they give guarded answers. The fact is that the success rate of liver transplant is 90%. In about 80-88% cases of liver transplant, the persons live for one year. In some cases of those 80-88%, the survival is extended to 4 or more years,” said Dr Tom Cherian firmly while interacting with ‘The Hitavada’ at Wockhardt Hospital, Nagpur. Wockhardt Hospitals now in association with South Asian Liver Institute of Dr Tom Cherian is performing liver transplants. One patient, a 67-years old farmer now is successfully leading his life despite he had undergone liver transplant 7 years ago. Dr Tom Cherian is a known figure in liver transplant.
He has been performing Gastrointestinal surgeries for the last 24 years of which he was in UK for 16 years. He
performed 700 liver transplants. He is carrying legacy as a good human being as his father Dr Jecob Cherian, a well known Cardiac Surgeon received Padmabhushan for his contribution to community service.
“The kind of awareness we experience in diabetes, coronary artery disease, TB etc, we don’t have it in liver disease. First cathlab in cardiology came 25 years ago. In Nagpur now every hospital has cathlab. On the contrary, there are a few hospitals those treat liver diseases in this city,” Dr Cherian pointed out.
Everybody must get screened for liver disease. The screening includes blood test and Ultrasonography. “There are lot of myths-- liver diseases detected in alcoholics only. Of the 10 patients 4 are alcoholics and 6 don’t have. Lack of awareness among public and a bit among medical fraternity especially about Liver transplantation. These things need to be taken into account,” felt Dr Tom Cherian.