In 2015, Turkey ranked first in the world in organ donation – 45 per million people. Turkey is followed by South Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Turkey also ranked first in the world for the number of living donor kidney transplants – 34 per million people. The second and third places in this list are occupied by the Netherlands and Israel.
For many patients suffering from severe chronic noncommunicable diseases, organ transplants are the only chance to save their lives.
There are several types of surgery in which various organs are transplanted from the donor to the recipient. Each intervention has its own characteristics, indications, contraindications. Organ transplantation is usually carried out in large clinics that specialize in this particular type of medical care.
What organs and tissues can be transplanted in hospitals in Turkey
⦁ Liver transplant
⦁ Bone marrow transplant
A kidney transplant is an operation in which a kidney from a donor is transplanted into a recipient. These are always different people, however, for the selection of the ideal material, it is better that they have a certain degree of kinship. However, a deceased person can also be a donor, if he fits according to various laboratory criteria and parameters.
Indications for transplantation
Kidney transplantation is an intervention carried out in the event that one’s own organs are no longer capable of fully performing their functions for some reason. Usually they talk about the inability of the kidneys to perform their function in the last, fifth degree of renal failure. However, there are other indications for transplantation. Among them:
long-term ongoing inflammatory processes in the kidneys, which are of a chronic nature (for example, pyelonephritis, glomerular form of nephritis);
damage to the kidneys or their circulatory system due to diabetes mellitus;
various congenital malformations of the renal system (underdevelopment of the organ, its small size, which is why it is not able to perform its functions fully);
a large number of cystic neoplasms in the kidney;
some organ injuries; oncological pathologies.
How is kidney transplant performed?
A kidney transplant in Turkey is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made in the abdominal wall on the right and left, slightly above the groin. During the operation, the donor kidney is placed in the lower abdomen. The vessels of the donor kidney are connected to the vessels of the recipient kidney, and the ureter of the donor kidney is connected to the bladder. When blood flow resumes in the donor kidney, it will begin to filter the blood and excrete metabolic products in the urine.
In most cases, damaged and diseased kidneys are not removed. Unless the patient has a severe kidney infection (pyelonephritis), kidney cancer, renal atrophy syndrome, or polycystic kidney disease.
What are the risks of kidney transplantation?
As with any surgery, a kidney transplant can cause unforeseen complications: bleeding, damage to internal organs, damage to nerves.
The transplanted kidney can be rejected by the body at any time.
If the transplanted kidney is suddenly rejected and a suitable treatment cannot be found quickly, the patient may lose a new kidney.
What happens after the surgery?
Stress should be avoided for 2 weeks after discharge from the hospital. After a week, the surgeon removes stitches and staples during a routine check.
It is imperative to inform the surgeon if the body temperature rises above 38 °, or there are alarming symptoms of kidney rejection. After discharge from the hospital, the patient’s immunity is weak. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid large crowds of people and take various precautions: do not contact sick people, wash your hands thoroughly and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Liver treatment in Turkey is one of the most popular medical areas in the country. Turkish transplantologists have tremendous experience, especially in the field of liver transplantation – up to 350 operations are performed in large hospitals per year.
Liver transplantation is an operation during which an entire organ or one part of it is transplanted from a donor to a recipient. Since it is impossible to live without a liver, and unlike a kidney, a person has only one, then it can be transplanted entirely from a cadaveric donor. Young patients undergo a liver lobe transplant from a living close relative.
In order to assess the patient’s condition and determine the presence of indications for liver transplantation, the MELD scale is used all over the world. If it is more than 15, then the patient is suitable for the operation. However, liver transplants are not performed in the presence of advanced malignant neoplasms (hepatocellular carcinoma). Contraindications for liver transplantation
Not all patients with decompensated liver disease and cirrhosis are eligible for transplants. Patients need to undergo a serious operation, be inclined to take medications that prevent the rejection of the donor organ, often visit a medical institution and take tests, and do not drink alcohol. The absolute contraindications for liver transplantation include:
Severe, irreversible illness that limits short-term life expectancy. Severe pulmonary hypertension. Cancer that has spread outside the liver. Systemic or uncontrolled infectious disease. Unacceptable risk of drug or alcohol abuse. The impossibility of strict adherence to the treatment regime.
Severe mental illness. Liver transplant results in Turkey are generally positive. Thanks to the introduction of advances in surgical technique, organ preservation, nursing and drug therapy by our transplant surgeons, survival rates continue to improve every year.
Bone marrow transplant
An effective method of treating diseases of the blood system, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies, autoimmune diseases of the nervous system and connective tissue, as well as certain forms of malignant neoplasms in children and adults. More than 50,000 bone marrow transplants are performed worldwide every year. For many patients, transplantation gave a chance to get rid of this terrible disease. Transplantation makes it possible not only to obtain long-term and stable remissions of the disease, when traditional treatment is powerless, but in a number of diseases it can be completely cured of a serious illness.
Types of bone marrow transplant
Autologous transplant – in this case, the patient’s own bone marrow or stem cells are used for the transplant.
Allogeneic transplantation is a bone marrow transplant from a donor. Usually, due to the need for additional tests to select a genetically compatible donor, this type of transplant takes a longer time.
The difference between them is one: the hematopoietic blood cells belong either to you or to the donor.
– In bone marrow donation, the umbilical cord blood retained in the placenta and umbilical vein after the birth of the baby can be used.
The second source of donation is the patient’s brothers and sisters, other relatives or non-relatives. This is the so-called allogeneic stem cell transplantation, which can be both related, when the donor is a blood relative of the patient, more often a brother or sister, or unrelated, when a compatible donor is selected according to the appropriate parameters. In the treatment of some bone marrow diseases, the patient’s own cells are used. This treatment is called autogenous transplant.
HOW THE PROCEDURE IS CARRIED OUT: STEPS
Bone marrow stem cell transplantation in Turkish clinics provides for a number of activities.
⦁ Preparatory stage. If the patient has an oncological pathology, then he is prescribed high-dose chemotherapy, which prepares the patient’s body for receiving transplant cells. As a rule, the duration of the chemotherapy course is 7-10 days.
⦁ Selection of material for transplantation. Stem cells are collected from the patient or donor about a week before the intended transplant. The resulting material is processed and frozen with liquid nitrogen.
⦁ Stem cell transplant. The stem cell transplantation itself takes place in a special sterile box, which prevents the patient from becoming infected. The bone marrow is injected intravenously. The procedure takes 1-2 hours.
⦁ Adaptation. For 2-4 weeks, the patient goes through a stage of adaptation, which is accompanied by nausea, indigestion and other general symptoms. The patient must be prescribed immunosuppressants to avoid host-versus-graft reactions. The patient takes these drugs for 3-6 weeks. After about a month, the patient is transferred to a regular ward, where he spends another month.
Learn more about the procedure – contact our medical coordinator to schedule a consultation.