Istanbul hospital conducts Turkey’s first paired-liver exchange
Hürriyet photoAn Istanbul hospital recently conducted Turkey’s first paired-liver exchange, saving the lives of Naz Karayanık, an 8-month-old baby, and Konstantin İpseftel, a 70-year-old man, daily Hürriyet reported.
Naz’s mother, Songül, had been waiting to donate her liver to her daughter, but due to Naz’s age, Songül’s liver was too large for the baby. In a similar predicament, Maki İpseftel was seeking to donate a lobe of his liver to his father, but the left lobe was underdeveloped, meaning it would not have succeeded in saving Konstantin İpseftel.
Doctors at Şişli Florence Nightingale introduced the families to each other, allowing for the families to agree on the exchange. Both patients were taken to the operation simultaneously to eliminate the chances of one donor abandoning the effort while the other was still in operation.
Konstantin İpseftel made a rapid recovery following the operation, but Naz, who weighs only around seven kilos, remains in the intensive unit. The infant, however, is expected to be discharged from the unit in several days.
Songül Karayanık said she felt like she had given her liver to her daughter.
“I don’t feel like I gave my liver to someone else. I felt like it went to Naz,” Songül said. “We meet as families; we worry about each other’s patients.”
Maki İpseftel told Hürriyet that there was “nothing to think about.” “The exchange was a stroke of luck.”
The operation was conducted by Professor Dr. Yaman Tokat, who is currently running a website to allow pairs to meet each other and help patients find possible donors instead of losing time on waiting lists.
“The paired-exchange method has been created for people with live donors but not the match required for an operation,” Tokat said. “Patients waiting for liver transplants just pass away while waiting in different centers.”