Moms, sons recover after first paired liver donations

Yin Chunlin, 22, undergoes surgery in Beijing on Friday.

Two young mothers and their sons underwent surgery in China's first paired liver donations on Friday, but the eventual results of the transplants will not be known until about a week later.

Beijing's General Hospital of Armed Police Forces completed taking parts of the livers of Luo Dan, 23, and Yin Chunlin, 22, by about 7 pm. The transplants were finished at about midnight.

The two mothers were transferred to the intensive care unit after the surgeries.

Li Wei, a surgeon who took part in the surgeries, told China Central Television: "The mothers' surgeries went very smoothly. They will regain consciousness in four to six hours after the surgery if there are no complications. They probably can check out of the hospital within a week.

"Their livers will grow back to their original sizes in about two months," Li added

However, the two boys' conditions will need to be monitored carefully for a week, according to Shen Zhongyang, head of the hospital's transplant department.

"There are many things to consider after the surgery, for the kids are so young," Shen said.

"The recipients are already sick, and now they are going to have wounds," he said. "They may have more complications after the surgery. It will take more time for them to recover."

Also, it will take years to see whether the transplants were successful, he said.

"For kids having liver transplant in our hospital, the rate of survival for more than a year after the surgery is 97 per cent. The rate of survival for more than five years is above 90 per cent," Shen said.

The surgeries have gotten a lot of public attention. Wang Letian, a surgeon in the hospital, told CCTV on Friday that someone who declined to be identified donated 20,000 yuan (S$3,863) for them. Luo Dan, one of the mothers, told China Daily on Wednesday that Angel Mom, a Beijing-based NGO focused on helping children with severe liver and intestinal diseases, has collected enough donations for her child's surgery.

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