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A heart-felt liver transplant

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital   Last Update:2015-09-18

20 years ago, the now sixty year-old Adel was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, esophageal varices, and ascites, among various other symptoms. As time passed by, his conditions were only getting worse. At first, his eldest son, Mohamad, consulted local doctors for methods to treat his father, and completed a series of matching examinations. Mohamad himself is an otolaryngologist, and he had heard about Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s exceptional medical standards from his teacher, so he decided to come to Taiwan for fellowship. While he was in Taiwan, he compared Taiwan and Egypt’s medical skills, and found that Taiwan is much more advanced, and that the liver transplant techniques is world famous. Knowing this, he decided to have his father accept the liver transplant here in Taiwan by donating his own right liver. To assure success, Mohamad exchanged numerous consultations with the living donor transplant expert and Chang Gung’s liver transplant director, Wei-Chen Lee. The Hospital’s International Medical Center had also provided much assistance with his father’s medical visa and various arrangements prior to coming to Taiwan.


Adel’s youngest son, Ahmad, had accompanied his father to Taiwan. He praised and commended Chang Gung’s excellent medical talents, and especially thanked the hospital medical staff for the wonderful services they have provided. He was quite surprised to find that the hospital had a Muslim Prayer Room. So he got some Muslim pamphlets from Taipei’s Mosques, and placed them in the Prayer Room for Muslim patients to read.


In 2003, Dr. Wei-Chen Lee became the first person in Taiwan to successfully perform the split liver transplant for 2 adults, which greatly increased the survival rates for patients with liver diseases. In 2006, being another first in Taiwan, he succeeded in performing ABO-incompatible living donor liver transplant, and overcame acute liver transplant rejection. Up-to-date, Dr. Lee has completed nearly 700 cases of liver transplant surgeries, and 60 cases of split liver transplant and incompatible liver transplant.


Adel’s doctor, Chang Gung’s liver transplant director Dr. Wei-Chen Lee states, due to liver cancer and liver cirrhosis complicated by esophageal varices and ascites, the patient suffers from massive blood loss when the esophageal varices ruptures. At the same time, the ascites leads to abdominal distention and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, which causes severe abdominal pain and fever, even causing hepatic coma; the overall condition is quite grim. Although the patient has undergone 4 supplementary TACE therapy in Egypt, a liver transplant was the only option for someone with both liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. The patient recovered quickly, and was transferred to general ward just 1 week post-operation; all he needed to do when he went back home was to visit local doctors for regular follow-up examinations.


Adel’s trip to Taiwan was rather rewarding, having successfully completed the liver transplant. During his last doctor’s visit with Dr. Lee before returning home, Adel appeared physically healthy and fit. He expressed his sincere gratitude toward Dr. Lee, the medical staff, and the International Medical Center for the tireless efforts and assistance provided. Before he left, he warmly invited everyone to visit Egypt. He added, that he hoped all of his Egyptian countrymen can have the opportunity to receive Taiwan’s quality medical care like he did.


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