- Transplantation offers a new lease of life to those suffering from organ failure
Singaporean actress Andrea De Cruz’s lifesaving liver transplantation operation in May 2002 in Singapore, where she became the first patient to receive an organ from an emotionally-related donor, was a medical first in the country.
Her operation paved the way for many others to have a second chance at life by undergoing the same operation, since it enabled donors who are emotionally related to the recipient to donate their organs.
It was De Cruz’s husband, actor Pierre Png, who was then her boyfriend, who donated a part of his liver to her, after the Ministry of Health allowed non-related living donors to donate for the very first time.
For those who are suffering from organ failure, transplant gives them the chance to live again. For the donor, it’s the most precious gift that can be given. Transplant gives hope and life for those suffering from end-stage organ failure, blood disorders and blood cancers.
Worldwide, there are far more people with end-stage organ failure on the waiting list than there are cadaveric organs available for transplant. As a result more living donor transplants are now being carried out.
Living donors may be related by blood to the recipient. Or, they may be “emotionally related” such as a friend, without any blood ties, who is donating his organ for the altruistic reason of saving a life.
Singapore is one of the countries in this region which allows “emotionally related” organ donation. To protect the donors and recipients, the Ministry of Health in Singapore has a set of guidelines which includes the selection of healthy donors, and informing potential donors of the possible risks of donation.
The Transplant Ethics Committee reviews all transplants that are carried out in Singapore to ensure that donors are not subjected to any financial inducement or coercion. On top of that, transplant surgeons in Singapore are gazetted by the Singapore government and they are certified annually after meeting the required number of Continuing Medical Education points to maintain and develop their skills.
Given the easy access to Singapore and its reputation as a medical hub in this region, with the high standard of treatment and care, more overseas patients are now coming here for transplant surgeries.
Gleneagles Hospital performs living donor transplants for liver and kidney. It also offers corneal and stem cell transplants.
Transplant surgeries are carried by a multi-disciplinary team including surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses who are specially trained to treat and care for patients undergoing transplant. Transplant coordinators from the hospital are at hand to help and guide patients and their families through their transplant journey as seamlessly as possible.
Singaporeans or non-Singaporeans can be put on a waiting list with the Singapore Eye Bank for a suitable cornea. The waiting time can be as soon as within a week or up to a few months. Corneas are harvested from local donors as well as from internationally accredited eye banks from Sri Lanka, the United States and Philippines.
For overseas patients, when the eye bank informs the doctor of the availability of a donor cornea, the patient will be contacted immediately. Arrangements will be made for the patient to travel to Singapore for the transplant surgery within the next one or two days.
Living donor kidney transplant
The hospital’s multi-disciplinary team of specialists offers a wide range of medical and surgical treatments for patients with kidney diseases – from acute and chronic kidney diseases, to end-stage kidney failure and living donor kidney transplant. Gleneagles Hospital has the expertise and facilities to undertake complicated transplant surgeries such as those with recipient and donor with incompatible blood groups.
Living donor liver transplant
Gleneagles Hospital was the first hospital in Asia to perform a living donor liver transplant in 2002. With its fully integrated centre for liver transplant and treatment in Asia, it is the only private hospital in Singapore with a dedicated Liver Intensive Care Unit within the ward. The Liver ICU is equipped with advanced equipment including liver dialysis machines, monitoring devices and ventilators to provide high quality treatment for specific liver conditions including transplant.
Stem cell transplant
Gleneagles Hospital provides stem cell transplant for patients from infants to adults. This treatment may be performed on its own or in combination with other therapies for such conditions as leukaemia, solid tumours, thalassaemia, sickle cell anaemia, metabolic diseases, immune deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases.
Gleneagles Hospital, a private hospital located in one of Singapore’s prime residential areas and in close proximity to the heart of the local shopping district, provides a wide range of medical and surgical services within various clinical disciplines.
This 272-bed hospital is not only backed by integrated facilities and equipment, it also functions on innovative communication and information technology tools. The healthcare professionals here pride themselves on having a ‘heart’ towards their jobs. Gleneagles Hospital is JCI accredited, and has achieved a Singapore Quality Class certification. These milestones reflect the organisation’s commitment towards being a quality healthcare provider.
A leading provider of private healthcare services in Asia, ParkwayHealth’s reputation is the result of quality clinical outcomes and comprehensive care, made achievable with an extensive network of hospitals, integrated healthcare facilities and over 40 years of experience in hospital development.
ParkwayHealth operates three hospitals – Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway East Hospital – and several medical centres in Singapore, where specialist care is administered in one place.
ParkwayHealth operates medical services and its facilities house over 3,400 beds and 1,200 accredited specialists. Over the years, it has achieved numerous firsts and recorded many milestones, which is a testament to its efforts in healthcare. ParkwayHealth has several hospitals and medical offices across the globe and also operates a ParkwayHealth Patient Assistance Centre in Sri Lanka.