Transplant applications rise following operations

Transplant applications rise following operations

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Transplant applications rise following operations

Former leader of the CHP, Deniz Baykal (L) visited face transplant patient Uğur Acar (R) yesterday. Baykal also said he had donated all his organs, including his face. DHA photo

As the Turkish Health Ministry has recently brought strict regulations on face and limb transplant licenses, doctors from in the southern province of Antalya’s Akdeniz University Hospital say there are now almost 250 people on their waiting list.

Assistant Professor Özlenen Özkan, one of the doctors who was in the team that realized Turkey’s first face transplant surgery, said patient Uğur Acar’s story had boosted the applications for other surgeries.
“Following the successful face transplant surgery in January 2012 hundreds of people applied to our university for a consultation. Now, 35 people are waiting for a face transplant and more than 200 for a limb transplant,” Özkan told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The Turkish Health Ministry has recently imposed strict regulations on face and limb transplant licenses. The Composite Tissue Transplant Scientific Advisory Commission set forth new regulations regarding surgical operations involving face transplants last week, in which minors under the age of 18 will be barred from undergoing such operations. The Commision also will take into account the social lives of potential patients, and if the patients’ appearance causes them to be ostracized they will be allowed to undergo surgery, according to ministry officials.

Özlenen Özkan said Akdeniz University, which obtained the license to realize transplant operations first, has the priority for checking donors from the pool, to see if any applicant is suitable as receiver.
“There was an irregular order for hospitals before the limb and face transplants came onto Turkey’s agenda in the last few months. The Ministry of Health is introducing new arrangements following the death of a limb transplant patient in another university,” said Özkan.

Turkish Health Ministry had revoked Ankara Hacettepe University’s license to perform composite tissue transplant operations following the death of quadruple-limb transplant patient Şevket Çavdar.