Pregnant woman gets liver transplant in Taiwan first

Operation one of only five recorded successful liver transplantations during pregnancy

Pregnant woman gets liver transplant (CNA photo)

Pregnant woman gets liver transplant (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan announced the country’s first successful liver transplantation during pregnancy on Monday (Aug. 19).

The surgery was performed on a 34-year-old female surnamed Mou, a Hepatitis B carrier, who had experienced nausea and poor appetite since becoming pregnant in March last year. What she had believed to be symptoms of early pregnancy turned out to be signs of a liver condition that required a transplant, reports the Central News Agency (CNA).

According to the hospital, a Hepatitis B carrier has a 5 to 10 percent chance of developing acute hepatitis during pregnancy. A lot more is at risk in the case of a liver transplant operation conducted on an expectant mother.

The medical staff had to ensure a zero chance of infection for the mother prior to the operation. In addition, they had to closely monitor the vital signs of the baby as well as avoid post-operation medications stunting the child's growth, said the report.

Mou has become one of only five cases recorded in medical literature to have successfully undergone a liver transplant during pregnancy. She is also one of only two of these mothers to have successfully given birth, according to the hospital.

The Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital took the opportunity to call for more organ donations. Taiwan sees an average of 330 organ donations a year, while the number of those waiting for a transplant has soared to 9,800, according to CNA.