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Organ Transplant 

The physicians and surgeons of Uniqacare is world famous especially for the success rate for their kidney and liver transplants. Not only by their successful organ transplant rates, but also with their education programs and live transplant streams throughout the Europe and USA, Uniqacare already proved their expertise in this field. 

What is an organ transplant?

Organ transplantation is an operation performed from a cadaver and a living person. Organ transplantation is the treatment of the patient by replacing the organs damaged so much that they cannot function due to medically incurable diseases, by placing a new, healthy organ taken from a living or dead person. Apart from heart transplantation, an important part of it can be done from living to living. Liver, kidney, pancreas, small intestine, heart transplants can be performed by taking them from a cadaver and transplanting them to the patient.

What are the types of organ transplants?

Organ transplantation types are divided into two as cadaveric and living donor transplantation.

Which organs and tissues are transplanted?

Kidney and liver transplants are performed in living donor transplants. Organs such as heart, pancreas, lung, small intestine, liver, kidney, face, bone, hand, arm, leg can be transplanted from cadavers. 

Who can be a tissue or organ donor?

Those who are between the ages of 18-60, those who are in good mental and physical health, those who have no health problems in the examinations, those who do not have a history of drug use, liver disease, HIV or cancer, those who are compatible by blood type, those who are not obese, those who are related to the patient up to the fourth degree. If there is no consanguinity, those who pass the ethics committee can be donors for living organ transplantation.

Who can be an organ recipient?

In case of irreversible deterioration of liver functions due to various diseases of the liver, one of the treatment options is liver transplantation. Chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease means that the kidney loses its function over time. Kidney transplantation can also be performed for those with chronic kidney failure or disease.

What is the recovery process like after the transplant?

After the transplant, patients are taken to the intensive care unit for a while. If everything goes well in this process, the patient is removed from the ventilator. After the intensive care phase, the patient is monitored in the hospital service room according to the patient's condition. This process takes 2 to 3 weeks. During this period, the patient is evaluated in terms of jaundice, fever, newly used drugs, and organ rejection. Liver biopsies can be taken during this period, if necessary. If all is well, the discharge process begins. Then, once a week, the organ transplant center is visited for follow-up and liver tests are performed with examination. Medication doses are adjusted if necessary. During this period, great care should be taken against infection. As the risk of infection and organ rejection decreases, the frequency of check-ups also decreases. It is important to keep the surgical area clean after the surgery. If edema, redness and fluid formation are observed, the doctor should be informed. A T-tube is placed in patients to drain the bile. During these periods, this should also be monitored carefully. In addition, it is important for patients to regularly check their fever, blood pressure and pulse. Paying attention to dental care and general body cleaning is important to prevent infection. During this period, it is necessary to avoid alcohol consumption and driving for 4-6 weeks following the transfer. In addition, the patient may need to pay attention to his nutrition in order to collect himself, and if necessary, he may need to get support from a nutritionist. If problems such as fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, skin rash, and shortness of breath are experienced, an organ transplant center should be consulted. In addition, if the patient has a problem, the organ transplant center will help. In kidney transplantation, patients stay in the hospital for an average of 10-15 days. When the day of discharge comes, the medicines to be used by the physicians and nurses and trainings for home care are given. Tight follow-up is required in transplant patients in the early period. In these follow-ups, detailed examinations of the patient are made and follow-up is continued by the nephrologist. In the early stages, it is absolutely necessary to protect against the risk of infection. As in all transplantation processes, kidney transplant recipients should not be in contact with other people and in crowded environments. Job changes are not permitted, except for those who work under severe conditions. Organ rejection may occur in some patients. Therefore, a second transplant may be required. The patient and the physician must be in close communication.

What is a cadaver?

Cadaver means corpse, that is, the body of a deceased individual. Cadaver donation is the donation of the deceased body within the framework of certain rules. In case of death, it can be carried out by the person's first degree relatives.

How does the process of organ transplantation from cadaver work?

Cadaver donations are made from people who have brain death during intensive care conditions. Brain death is also declared by the decision of the expert committee. The cadaver should not have diabetes or infectious diseases before death. Even if the donor has declared himself, organs cannot be taken without the consent of the first degree relative. Organ transplant coordinators of hospitals carry out these processes. A person who dies in cadaveric transplants can give life to one or more people with their tissues and organs. These processes depend on ethical committees.

Live-to-live and cadaver-to-live transplants

Every organ donated, every transplant performed actually means a life saved. However, lack of information, prejudices and false beliefs play an important role in organ donation in Turkey not reaching the desired level and the lack of sufficient awareness in the society. In organ donation and transplantation, there are many people who are mistaken and believed to be true, and there are many people who have been on dialysis for years or do not donate organs. In Turkey, 75-80% of organ transplants are performed with organs taken from living beings. In transplants performed in this way, a completely healthy person is operated and part or half of his organ is removed. Although this is a very undesirable situation, surgeries that have to be done to keep people alive. Abroad, the opposite is true. Transplants made with living organs are at the rate of 25%, while those from cadavers (dead people) are at the level of 75-80%. This is the difference between the transplant process in Turkey and the process in Europe and the USA. However, as long as the transplants are done in good hands, there is no statistical difference in the success rate. 

Organ transplant surgeries are performed with modern technology and techniques. 

Organ transplant surgeries are important and subtle surgeries; however, developing modern surgical technologies and techniques can be performed completely safely and without bleeding. For example; with laparoscopic surgeries (closed surgeries), people resume their normal lives after 1 week or 10 days; they never have a physical handicap in terms of their daily life.

Who can be a donor?

In accordance with the regulation of the Ministry of Health, transfers can be made between relatives up to the 4th degree. With the approval of the Regional Ethics Committees, unrelated organ transplantation may also be possible. Donor exchanges, which are called cross transplants in terms of organ transplants, can also take place within the legal framework.

What kind of center should be preferred for transplantation?

In order for organ transplantation to be performed in a hospital, that center must be providing a high level of service. Organ transplantation is not just a surgical procedure. For the pre- and post-transplant process, it is very important that the polyclinics, laboratories, imaging units, inpatient floors and many clinics of that center work together. You can be a very good surgeon, you can have a very good anesthesia team, your operating room conditions may be perfect, but this does not mean that you will always get successful results. Organ transplantation is a multidisciplinary study. Therefore, only health institutions that have completed this study can perform organ transplantation.

Questions about appointments?

You'll find answers to questions about the appointments process, scheduling, referrals and more.

See Frequently Asked Questions here.

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