LOCAL > Patient given Polish tourist’s face in fifth face transplant operation in Turkey

MUĞLA – Doğan News Agency

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Professor Ömer Özkan took Kucza’s face and brought it to Antalya. DHA photo

Professor Ömer Özkan took Kucza’s face and brought it to Antalya. DHA photo

The face of a Polish man was successfully given to a Turkish man in a transplant at Akdeniz University hospital following a 6.5-hour operation July 18, making it the fifth such operation to take place in the country.

The transplant team at Antalya’s Akdeniz University, led by Professor Ömer Özkan, performed the 25th face transplant operation in the world and the first-ever double jaw transplant in medical literature.

Andrzej Kucza, a Polish tourist who was on holiday in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Ula district, suffered a heart attack on July 14 while swimming. Kucza’s family, on holiday with him, decided to donate his organs after the 42-year-old was pronounced brain dead by doctors.

The transplant team at Antalya’s Akdeniz University took Kucza’s face and brought it to Antalya for Recep Sert, 27.

Sert, who had been waiting for a face transplant, immediately came from the northwestern province of Bursa to Antalya late July 17 for the transplant after being informed of the donor by the Health Ministry.

“We have become professional at this matter; we can easily manage it,” Özkan said at a press conference held after the operation, noting that his team had performed five face transplant operations so far and in two of them the donors were foreigners.

Özkan and his team completed Turkey’s first successful face transplant surgery on Jan. 21 2012. Uğur Acar, the patient, has recovered rapidly. The second face transplant was performed at Hacettepe University where Cengiz Gül received a new face. The third face transplant patient was Hatice Nergis at Gazi University.

Özkan also conducted the fourth face transplant at Akdeniz University, giving 19-year-old Tevfik Yılmaz’s face to 34-year-old Turan Çolak in May 2012.


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mara mcglothin

7/23/2013 9:41:20 PM

Yeah CILGIN and we haven't even talked about how "halal" this face is:) Godspeed to the Polish family. This was clearly a humanitarian decision and we should all take a lesson from them.

Çılgın Kanarya

7/19/2013 12:09:10 AM

A very heartwarming story, and I hope the face transplant recipient makes a full recovery and goes on to lead a happy and fulfilling life. On a lighter note, he may regret opting for a foreign face when he leaves hospital in Antalya and is immediately chased with cheap, fake perfume & contraband cigarettes, and hears constant calls of "Yes please, where you are from?", "Helloooo, you want drink, you want eat?", "Taxi taxi taxi, you need taxi?" :)

Köksüz Kosmopolit

7/18/2013 2:01:42 PM

Agreed, RT. It is beautiful and humbling that Mr Kucza's family, in their moment of grief and loss, acted so generously and selflessly. May they be comforted by the knowledge that their loved one, even in death, is giving the gift of life to others.

Red Tail

7/18/2013 12:07:47 PM

Good luck with the operation and we should all be grateful to the Polish familly for their humanity. Their decision to donate organs saved lives and prevents sufferings. Glad to read nice news!
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