Turkish doctors set pace in pioneering transplants

Husband and wife team at Akdeniz University in Mediterranean Antalya pioneer face, double-arm, and uterus transplants

Suleyman Elcin   | 28.11.2019
Turkish doctors set pace in pioneering transplants Oguz Simsek


Two doctors in southern Turkey continue to blaze new trails by performing successful face, arm, and uterus transplants. 

On Sept. 29, 2010, the husband and wife team of Dr. Omer Ozkan and Dr. Ozlenen Ozkan, and their supporting medial team at Akdeniz University in the Mediterranean Antalya province, completed the first double-arm transplants in Turkey on a man from the western Aydin province.

In 2011, the team also did the first-ever uterus transplant from a deceased donor.

The doctors then continued to make history with the first face transplant in Turkish history.

Injured as an infant, Antalya resident Ugur Acar made history on Jan. 21, 2012 as Turkey's first recipient of a facial transplant.

The doctors on Tuesday transplanted two arms on Oguz Simsek, who had lost his limbs in a work-related accident.

Now, the Ozkans are proud to be the first doctors in the world to have done 10 composite tissue transplants.

Omer Ozkan told Anadolu Agency that Turkey is a global leader in the field of composite tissue transplants.

"It is prestigious for our country that we can perform transplants, that the patients aren’t charged, and that they are provided with follow-up and medicine. These operations show the extent of medicine, economy, and welfare in our country," he said.

"As the center of organ transplants, we are one of the best in the world with the highest number of operations. We continue to do this voluntarily," he added.

Ozkan stressed that the number of patients would rise dramatically as more and more people sign up to be organ donors.

*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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