Turkey’s sixth face transplant removed due to organ failure
ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s face transplantation operations began when the family of Ahmet Kaya, who committed suicide on Jan. 21, 2012, donated his face. The successful operation put Antalya's Akdeniz Univeristy under spotlight.Turkey’s sixth patient who underwent a face transplant in Akdeniz University hospital on June 16 was removed during the operation largely due to organ failure.
Soft tissue was removed from the face of Salih Üstün, 54, who received a face transplant in August last year when the organs of Muhittin Turan, 31, were donated by his family. Turan had a motorbike accident before being pronounced brain dead at the hospital.
The health condition of Üstün, who had been kept under observation in the hospital since last year’s operation, began to deteriorate.
Surgeons at the hospital decided operate again on Üstün so that they could remove a portion of soft tissue from his face and insert some soft tissue from his own thigh.
Dr. Ömer Özkan from Turkey’s Akdeniz University Hospital, who carried out the face transplantation operations, also operated on Turan.
He said the soft tissue from the patient’s face was removed and added that they hoped the operation would be a success. “We have removed all the soft tissue from the face. We have done everything to prevent any problem [of organ failure]. We are not making an aesthetic surgery. We have to be helpful to the patient so that he may return to his home as a healthy person,” Özkan said.
Üstün will remain under doctors’ control in intensive care as his life may be at risk, Özkan added.
Turkey’s face transplantation operations began when the family of Ahmet Kaya, who committed suicide on Jan. 21, 2012, donated his face. The face removed from Kaya was transplanted to 19-year-old Uğur Acar, whose face was almost completely seared by a burning blanket when he was only 40-days-old.
The successful operation, a first in the history of Turkish plastic surgery, put Dr. Özkan and his team in the national and international spotlight.
The second face transplant surgery in Turkey was performed at Ankara’s Hacettepe University on Cengiz Gül, while the third occurred on March 17, 2012 at Ankara’s Gazi University.