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Kauvery Hospital Orchestrates Swap Kidney Transplant, Enabling Two Couples to Defy Fate Together

Chennai, October 16th, 2023 – Kauvery Hospital Main, Alwarpet a unit of Kauvery Group of Hospitals, a leading multispecialty healthcare chain in Tamil Nadu, successfully performed Swap Kidney Transplants for two critically ill patients who were awaiting their transplants. In a heartening healthcare moment, two patients successfully underwent a kidney transplant after their wives agreed to donate one of their kidneys to each other’s spouses. The eight-hour surgery was performed early in October.   


Conventional kidney transplants have primarily relied on donors (either live or cadaver), where the blood groups are compatible with the recipient. However, in certain cases where the donor and recipient blood groups do not match, patients have limited options, often resorting to blood group incompatible transplants, leading to higher risks and complications. Swap Kidney Transplant has proven to be beneficial in such scenarios, where donors with matching blood groups of the opposite recipient are found suitable for a transplant.


This approach involves swapping donors between pairs of recipients, matching each recipient with a compatible donor from another pair. This exchange allows patients to overcome the blood type barrier increasing the chances of a successful transplant and improving the quality of life for those in need of a new kidney. Swap kidney transplants have significantly expanded the pool of potential donors and recipients, offering hope and a new lease of life for many.


Two patients with end-stage kidney failure needing a transplant have their respective wives as potential donors. Unfortunately, their blood groups were found to be incompatible (i.e., the Recipient had A blood group and the donor had B Blood group). Another individual faced a similar scenario (The recipient had a B blood group and the donor had an A blood group) and was waiting for a transplant.


The option of blood group incompatible transplant vs swap transplants in the same blood group was explained to the recipients and family, by Dr R Balasubramaniyam Chief Nephrologist at Kauvery Hospital Chennai. They agreed to proceed with the swap transplants.


“What sets this swap kidney transplant apart is its simultaneous surgical procedure involving all four individuals – both donors and recipients. This synchronized effort resulted in both patients receiving kidneys of compatible blood types from willing donors, mitigating the need for extensive post-transplant medication. Within four days post-surgery, the donors were discharged and within a week both recipients displayed remarkable progress, showcasing normal kidney functions,” says Dr Balasubramaniyam, Chief Nephrologist Kauvery Hospital Main, Alwarpet Chennai.

“Often, patients wait for a longer time to find a suitable donor, thus keeping them on dialysis and medications. This approach has made a significant impact on individuals who find it difficult to find a donor, thereby helping them undergo a transplant sooner and to give them a better quality of life. The team of nephrologists, urologists, transplant surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses ensure safety and care using advanced technology and infrastructure. I congratulate Dr. R. Balasubramaniyam for opting for this approach toward saving the lives of 2 individuals and I also commend Dr. Swaminathan Sambandam Lead- Multi-Organ Transplant (Liver Kidney and Pancreas), Dr. Jeevagan M, Senior Consultant Urologist , Dr Anu Ramesh, Urologist and Dr. Balaji Kirushnan Consultant Nephrologist, Kauvery Hospital Alwarpet, and their team for performing the lifesaving procedure.” said Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-founder & Executive Director, Kauvery Hospitals.