THE first kidney transplant performed at the government-owned Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) last Sunday was successful with both the kidney donor and recipient now recuperating well.
Dr. Roland Mejia, R1MC chief, identified the donor as Isagani Patungan, 32, of Malasiqui town who donated his kidney to his second cousin, Maria Unruvia, 28, a nurse at R1MC and a native of Dagupan City who was already at the end-stage of her kidney disease.
Patungan was discharged from the hospital three days after the operation while Unruvia will remain in the hospital for another week for further observation.
Mejia told newsmen that both Patungan and Unruvia will be provided free lifetime consultation and treatment at the hospital.
The kidney transplant was performed by a team of doctors of R1MC led by Dr. Adolfo Parayno of Calasiao. Members of his team included Drs. Abelardo Coquia, Beth Estuesta, Francisco Untalan and Angelica Asuncion, all nephrologists.
Another team led by Dr. Paquito Fuentes retrieved the kidney from the donor.
They were assisted by resident physicians as well as nurses of R1MC.
“I am happy that we were able to set up a team of doctors here at R1MC,” Parayno said.
A kidney transplant for an indigent patient will cost P300,000 at R1MC, according to Mejia, which is much lower than the average cost of P900,000 to P1.5 million at a hospital in Metro Manila.
Parayno said the team and the hospital, the first hospital north of Manila licensed by the Department of Health to perform kidney transplants, is initially capable of performing one kidney transplant per week, but this will later increase to three a week, similar to the capacity of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) where he trained.
Parayno explained that patients who need a kidney transplant from a healthy person are those already undergoing hemo-dialysis regularly.
With a new kidney, these patients will no longer need dialysis and will just require regular medication.
Parayno said they are scheduled to perform another kidney transplant by the end of October.