It’s a proud moment that our Jaffna Central old boy & son of our Alma Mater Dr Gnanakanthan’s achievement as a doctor Cardiothoracic Surgeon. Dr Gnanakanthan was a one of the team of doctors in a Sri Lankan first successful heart transplant in Kandy Teaching Hospital.

 It’s not only a proud moment for our Jaffna Central College and Tamils around the world. It’s a proud moment for all Sri Lankans. Dr Gnanakanthan passed his O/L with 8 D’s in 1985 and A/L with 2A B C and aggregate wise first in Jaffna entered to Colombo Medical Faculty in merit in 1988.  He is not only a bright student of Jaffna Central but he has done many more activates when he was at the college, he was the senior prefect in 1987/1988.


Lanka’s first ever heart transplant: Eight hours of marathon surgery


Sri Lanka’s first-ever heart transplant was performed on Friday night at the Kandy Teaching Hospital, launching the country’s urgently-needed Heart and Lung Transplantation Programme.
A 40-year-old woman who was in the throes of end-stage heart failure was the pioneer to be transplanted with a heart from a 29-year-old man who was declared brain-dead after an accident, the Sunday Times learns.

The setting up of the Sri Lanka Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation at the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka in November 2015

The heart transplant which was begun at around 7 on Friday night was concluded around 3 yesterday morning. The patient (heart recipient) is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Kandy Teaching Hospital.
This eight-hour marathon heart surgery saw a powerful team of more than 20 consultants, both Cardiothoracic Surgeons and Anaesthetists, from six hospitals across the country, along with 30 junior doctors, perfusionists and nursing staff rally around the trailblazing banner held by the Kandy Teaching Hospital’s Director, Dr. Saman Ratnayake.

The other teams came from the Welisara Chest Hospital; the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo; the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Specialised Children’s Hospital in Peradeniya; the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital; and the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital. The heart transplant was carried out in coordination with internationally-acclaimed British transplant expert and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon Prof. Stephen C. Clark, the Director of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Each and every potential recipient will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the Freeman Hospital after which there will follow a donor-recipient matching process, it is understood.
Following this first heart transplant, moves are underway to establish a multi-organ transplantation centre at the Kandy Teaching Hospital, it is understood, with Senior Transplant Surgeon P.K. Harischandra launching a liver transplant programme shortly.

Prof. Stephen C. Clark

The Sunday Times understands that other organs of the brain-dead donor such as the liver and the kidneys were also harvested on Friday, in addition to the heart, for those in dire need of these organs.
Sources said heart failure in patients, requiring heart transplantation, comes in the wake of untreated congenital heart disease, ischaemic cardiomyopathy and rheumatic heart disease. Ischaemic heart disease is on the rise in the country with an increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, high cholesterol and smoking.

In November 2015, Prof. Clark was in Sri Lanka to facilitate the formation of the Sri Lanka Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation under the aegis of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka. (The Sunday Times exclusively reported the establishment of the society titled ‘World standard heart and lung transplants here’ on November 29, 2015, while also publishing a profile of Prof. Clark.)
Sri Lanka’s national Heart and Lung Transplantation Programme of international standing is to seek international recognition through the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT).

Thank you Sunday Times LK

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