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Singapore Performs Asia's First Combined Heart and Liver Transplant
Date:5/6/2010

to keep the risks of complications low. In comparison, liver transplant surgeons have a longer time to work with - 12 hours.

Comparing Mr Lau's surgery to conducting an orchestra, Dr Sivathasan says: "As it was a long surgery, there was no room for error. Every person had to know exactly which key to press and what tune to play."

The combined organ transplantation was a success story in more ways than one.

"While every transplant we undertake is special to us, this one is especially memorable given the scope and the odds. After all, it is challenges like these that keep us in the field," says A/P Tan.

"What we learnt was to not shy away from doing something just because we had never done it before... Our transplant programmes may be fairly young, but in terms of cost and survival rates, Singapore's expertise in organ transplantation is comparable to other developed countries," he adds.

The cost of transplant surgeries here are on average between 30 and 50 percent cheaper than those performed in the US, while survival rates of transplant patients are consistent with international benchmarks.

"Taking heart transplants as an example, we do an average of about five a year, with 70 percent of patients surviving beyond the five year mark, which is pretty much the same as leading centres worldwide," says Dr Sivathasan.


About Singapore General Hospital
Reputed for its medical excellence, SGH is Singapore's flagship tertiary hospital with a 7,000-stron
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