Another transplant patient meets with her new face in Turkey

Another transplant patient meets with her new face in Turkey

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Another transplant patient meets with her new face in Turkey

Patient Hatice Nergis looked at her new face in mirror for the first time yesterday. She was in intensive care since undergoing surgery on March 17. AA photo

Turkey’s third transplant patient took a glance at her new face for the first time since undergoing surgery at Ankara’s Gazi University amid continuing debates among doctors over tissue transplant operations.

Hatice Nergis had remained under intensive care since she underwent the surgery on March 17.

 “She examined her new face for a long period and smiled. She explained that she liked [her new face] a lot and that she would not have dared to undergo such an operation unless she trusted the [medical] team,” said a written statement issued from Gazi University.

‘Stabbing in the back’

Meanwhile, the doctor who led Turkey’s second face transplant operation at Ankara’s Hacettepe University accused Professor Ömer Özkan, the doctor who conducted the country’s first full face transplant surgery, of stabbing him in the back in connection to the revocation of Hacettepe University Hospital’s license to conduct tissue transplants.

“In fact, my close friend Ömer ended up stabbing me in the back. ... I later learned that Ömer divulged unfavorable opinions to the press about my operation while I was still [conducting] the surgery,” Associate Professor Serdar Nasır said.

The Health Ministry revoked Hacettepe University’s license to perform composite tissue transplant operations following the death of quadruple-limb transplant patient Şevket Çavdar.
“The comments made by Özkan to the press also contributed to the emergence of an antagonistic atmosphere toward me,” Nasır said.

“Unfortunately such negative results can come about. The heart transplant [operation] conducted by Dr. Bernard after he lost 10 of his patients ended in success and later turned into a routine surgical operation. [Doctors] successfully conduct liver transplant surgeries today, but our first mentors lost their patients in the beginning. They were not prohibited from conducting these surgeries, however,” he said. The commission also issued a warning to Akdeniz University, where doctors successfully conducted Turkey’s first full face transplant operation on Jan. 21, but otherwise approved of the face transplant operations performed at both Akdeniz and Gazi Universities.

Turkey’s first face-transplant operation was performed in at Akdeniz University in the southern province of Antalya on Jan. 21. The patient, Uğur Acar, was given the face of 39-year-old Ahmet Kaya.

Another similar operation was per formed on March 17, in which a 20-year-old patient received a partial face transplant from a 28-year-old donor. k HDN