Three doctors from the United States on Thursday completed an operation on the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, to create an artificial channel within her liver.

The three doctors conducted the operation following the procedure of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, which is known as TIPS in short, said a member of her medical board.

The operation was necessary to establish communication between the inflow portal vein and the outflow hepatic vein, he said.

The medical board member added that the operation was successful, after which the BNP leader was put under close observation at the coronary care unit of Evercare Hospital.

He said that TIPS was necessary immediately to stop water from accumulating in her stomach and chest.

TIPS is a life-saving procedure unavailable in Bangladesh, he said, adding that liver transplantation was also not possible in Bangladesh either.

Two US-based physicians reached Dhaka on Wednesday to treat the former prime minister. They joined a fellow physician from the US who was already in the city for the same purpose.

The three physicians are Christos Georgiades, James Peter Adam Hamilton, and Hamid Ahmed Abdur Rabb.

At a press conference on October 9, the medical board for Khaleda advised an immediate liver transplant as they had exhausted all medical options available for her in Bangladesh.

Khaleda has been undergoing treatment at the hospital since August 9 with multiple health complexities, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems.

The medical board recommended that Khaleda be urgently sent to a multidisciplinary centre abroad as there were no options available for her now in Bangladesh.

The board also said that the 78-year-old former prime minister’s life was at risk because of a lack of proper treatment to stop water accretion in her stomach and chest, internal bleeding, and infections caused by her liver cirrhosis problem.

The government, however, rejected Khaleda’s family's application for her treatment abroad.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order by suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020.

The government released her on the condition that she would stay at her Gulshan house and not leave the country.

The government extended the suspension of Khaleda’s sentence for the eighth time on September 18.