Turkey may set record for liver transplants
Mesude Erşan – MALATYA
The surgeries at İnönü University’s Turgut Özal Medical Center in the eastern province of Malatya took 12 hours, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and involved five donors and five recipients, said Prof. Dr. Sezai Yılmaz, who heads the medical center.
One of the recipients, Hakan Doğan, of Istanbul told daily Hürriyet that his liver had started to fail about six months ago, and upon his relatives’ suggestions, he had traveled to Malatya just for this operation.
“We have come here knowing that the [health staff] here are a world-known team. Hopefully, our trust will not be in vain,” Doğan said prior to the surgery. “The surgery excites me. Also, that we’ll be part of a record and this will make an impression for Turkey is additionally important for me.”
Some 100 health care personnel, including 36 surgeons, participated in the surgical feat inside 10 operating rooms at the medical center.
All of the transplants were documented with video cameras. The video footage, along with surgery documents and witnesses’ confirmation, will be conveyed to the Guinness World Record for consideration.
A total of 10 witnesses from around the world observed the procedures. Among the witnesses were Prof. Dr. Şükrü Emre from Yale University (also the mater mind of the idea to apply for the Guinness World Record); Prof. Dr. Nuru Bayramov of Azerbaijan Medical University; Ahmet Tekin, an official from Turkish Ministry of Health; İnönü Universty Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kızılay; Malatya Gov. Aydın Baruş; Malataya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Selahattin Gürkan and Notary Melahat Engin.
“We hope to bring success to our countries’ agenda […],” Yılmaz said prior to the operations.
Doğan, 43, received his new liver from his sister-in-law, Mihrican Uğurdan, 41.
Serap Kaya, 26, gave her liver to her 3-year-old son, Beytullah Kaya; Cuma Kaşdas, 35, donated to his friend, Ali Ulak, 45; Pınar Akpınar, 28, donated her liver to her father-in-law, İbrahim Akpınar, 67; and Ali Dal, 26, was the donor for his relative, Ahmet Dal, 21.
The medical center performs an average of about 250 transplants per year. It also serves as a training center for hundreds of medical professionals who seek to work in Turkey.
Yılmaz told daily Hürriyet that the center has conducted about 2,500 liver transplant surgeries since 2002. Last year, the number rose to 272, whereas in the first five months of this year, it was 110.
Tekin of the health ministry said: “During the 2000s, hundreds of patients flew abroad for organ transplantation, but in 2019, hundreds of patients began to prefer Turkey for organ transplantations.”