Transplant patient meets his new face

Transplant patient meets his new face

ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency
Transplant patient meets his new face

Uğur Acar was operated on Jan 22 and received a 35-year-old man’s face, although his biological age is 19. AA photo

Turkey’s first face transplant patient saw his new face in the mirror for the first time yesterday, after being shaved by doctors, 23 days after the historic surgery.

Uğur Acar received the transplant of a 35-year-old man’s face in the southern province of Antalya Jan. 22, although his biological age is 19. He passed into medical history as Turkey’s first face transplant patient, after suffering severe burns in a house fire as a baby.

Acar said he was satisfied with his new face and expressed gratitude to his doctors for his new appearance, adding his only desire now was for “a normal life.”

“First, I want to see my mother, because she will also undergo surgery soon. Second, I will visit the face donor Ahmet Kaya’s family. Then I will go to my village, no matter how I look, I am alive. Only now I have a different look, and thanks to the doctors for making it possible,” Acar said after seeing his new face.

Dr. Ömer Özkan, who headed the 25-member team conducting the transplant, said both the patient’s psychological and physical health conditions were good.

“Uğur’s health condition is very good; the edema on his face is returning to normal rapidly. He is getting along with us, mostly watching comedy movies. According to our planning he will be discharged from the hospital in 25 days,” Özkan said.

Dr. Özlenen Özkan, who attended the surgery, said Acar looked at his face for a long time without saying anything. “He is having difficulty eating but in three months we will start therapy and we presume that he will be able to eat normally using his mimics in six months,” he said. Özkan also said the number of organ donations rose in Turkey.