Organ Transplantation


Turkey's first organ transplant was performed in 1969 . Since then, particularly kidney and liver transplants have been performed successfully. An organ transplant, which is a method for improving quality of life in case of organ failure, is performed either from living donors or cadavers. In the case of organ transplants, the transplant process as well as post-transplant care is of great importance.

Living donors are subjected to a very detailed research during an organ transplant process. All vital functions of the donor must be intact. Likewise, people who will receive the organ should have no obstacles medically.

Only organ transplant can provide a healthy life for patients with severe heart, liver and kidney failure.

Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient whose kidneys fail to perform its functions well enough to continue his life and activities.

It is extremely difficult to live with chronic renal failure. Being dependent on the dialysis machine for 4 -5 hours, three days a week, dietary restrictions, prevention of physical activities and adverse effects of dialysis considerably reduce patients’ quality of life.

A dialysis patient needs a kidney transplant to have a healthy and longer life.

In Turkey, success rate of an organ working functionally after a transplant is above 95 % . Kidney transplant has also become a routine operation nowadays.

Who Can Have A Kidney Transplant?

Kidney transplant can be performed from two resources being live donor and cadaver.

Histocompatibility of the donor and acceptor is very important. However, in some critical cases, presence of close to full compatibility is adequate for an operation.

During transplant, first relatives are preferred. If a relative with tissue compatibility cannot be found, transplant from a cadaver is performed.

After Transplant

Post-transplant patients should pay attention to the following matters:

  • Regular Drug Use

    When an organ belonging to someone else is transplanted, the human body notices that tissue characteristics of this new organ is different from its own and will try to destroy it. Therefore, it is attempted to slow down the body's response by the drugs given after transplant. This is necessary for the functioning of the transplanted kidney. Patients who have had a kidney transplant should use drugs that suppress the immune system every day for life.

  • Paying Attention to Cleanliness

    The fact that immune system has been suppressed by the drugs makes the person sensitive towards germs. Therefore, personal hygiene is a matter which one should pay attention to. Also transplant patients should avoid unclean food and drinks and poorly ventilated environments.

  • Taking Plenty of Fluids

    People who have had kidney transplant should take minimum 2.5 liters of fluid per day.

  • Not Putting On Weight
  • Treatment of comorbid conditions:

    Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, atherosclerosis, cholesterol - lipid elevations, bone thinning and development problems in young patients should be treated. Thus people would be healthier and have long-lasting kidney.

Liver Transplant

In liver transplantation, diseased liver of the patients with liver failure is removed by surgery and a healthy liver or part of liver is transplanted.

Who Can Have A Liver Transplant?

Liver transplantation can be performed from a cadaver or living donor.

Transplants from cadaver are performed from any person classified as brain dead who already donated his/her organs or whose family wants to donate his/her organs .

During transplant from a live donor, transplant is performed after a portion of liver is removed from the donor. In contrast to other organs in the body, liver is capable of repeated regeneration and growth. In the case of these transplants with live donors, livers of the donor and recipient go back to their former state in a short time like 6 to 8 weeks.

Transplant from a live donor is a completely reliable procedure; the donor's liver and the recipient’s liver rapidly regenerate in several weeks.

Following liver donation, the donor is hospitalized for 7-10 days. After being discharged, the donor has to rest at home for about 1 month. Following recovery process, the donor may go back to normal life.

After Transplant

Following liver transplant, patients are usually discharged within 2 weeks. These patients must be carefully monitored. After the transplant, most people can go back to their work and continue their daily lives.

Following liver donation, the donor is hospitalized for 7-10 days. After being discharged, the donor has to rest at home for about 1 month. Following recovery process, the donor may go back to normal life.

Heart Transplant

Heart transplant is a procedure in which a dysfunctional heart is replaced by a healthy human heart. When a healthy person(donor) who has donated his organs dies, his organs including kidneys, liver, heart are prepared and transplanted to patients(recipients) for which a decision for organ transplant has previously been taken.

Heart failure is a progressive disease and can be seen at any age depending on the underlying cause. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

Prior to heart transplant, the patient can be kept alive using artificial heart support devices. Artificial heart support devices are high-tech devices which undertake pumping job of the heart in patients with end-stage heart failure.

Who Can Have A Heart Transplant?

When healthy people die, certain organs including heart, liver, kidneys will continue to work for a while. With the permission of relatives of people in this condition, the patient's heart can be transplanted.

After Transplant

Following heart transplant surgery, the patient’s tissues considerably recover within a period of 2 months, and gain strength enough to perform any physical activity. 1 year after the transplant, the patient can go back to work on a full or part time basis.