Liver transplant in Turkey

Liver Transplant

The liver is an essential organ in the body that cannot be dispensed with, and due to its importance in excreting toxins, it is exposed to many problems. Therefore, liver transplantation is one of the operations that have become popular in Turkey in recent times.

Liver Transplant Liver Transplant

In this article, we will explain in detail the stages of the liver transplantation process in Turkey for the recipient and the risks and complications that may occur after the operation. You can also read an article Liver transplantation in Turkey in detail for the donor.

Turkey is considered one of the best tourist destinations, especially in the field of liver transplantation, where there are 45 centers equipped for liver transplantation 12 times its established that Of which more than 20 liver transplants are performed annually.

What is a liver transplant? How is cirrhosis treated?

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person and is the only way to treat cirrhosis.
A whole liver or part of the liver may be transplanted.

Normal liver and cirrhotic liver
Normal liver and cirrhotic liver

In most cases, the healthy whole liver comes from a recently deceased organ donor and this method is not possible for a foreign patient in Turkey due to the laws that prevent transferring the liver from a dead person to a foreign person.

Sometimes a healthy person donates part of their liver.
The living donor may be a family member. Or it could be someone who has nothing to do with you but whose blood type matches up well.

People who donate part of their liver can live a healthy life with the remaining liver.

The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace lost or injured tissue (due to its regenerative property).
The donor's liver will grow to its normal size after surgery.

The portion you receive as a new liver will also grow to a normal size in a few weeks.

Why might I need a liver transplant?

A person cannot live at all if there is a non-functioning liver.

If the liver stops working, toxins build up in the body, so you may need a transplant.

A liver transplant may be recommended if you have end-stage liver disease (chronic liver failure).
This is a serious, life-threatening liver disease. It can be caused by many liver diseases.

Cirrhosis is the most common cause of end stage liver disease.
It is a chronic disease of the liver. It occurs when healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue.

This, in turn, prevents the liver from working properly. So that it is not possible to treat the liver without a liver transplant.

Other diseases that may lead to end-stage liver disease include:

  • Acute hepatic necrosis.

It occurs due to the death of tissues in the liver.
Possible causes for this are acute infections and reactions to medications, medications, or toxins.

  • Biliary atresia (absence of the bile duct in newborns).

A rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in newborns.

  •  Hepatitis B or C. Hepatitis B or C are common causes.
  • metabolic diseases;

Disorders that alter chemical activity in affected liver cells.

  • Primary liver cancers.

Cancerous tumors that begin in the liver.
Liver transplantation for cancer patients is the best treatment method if the tumor is large.

  • Autoimmune hepatitis.

Redness or swelling (inflammation) of the liver. It happens when the body's immune system attacks the liver.

If the doctors in your country decide that you should undergo a liver transplant, all you have to do is communication With us Let's refer you to the best teams Liver transplant centers in Turkey.

The team of the Liver Transplant Center in Turkey consists of:

  • Liver surgery doctor.
  • Internal doctors who specialize in treating the liver (Hepatologist).
  • Transplant nurses.
  • Physician or psychiatrist.
  • Other team members such as a dietitian or anesthesiologist.

The transplant evaluation process includes:

  1. Psychosocial evaluation

Many different issues are evaluated. They include stress, financial concerns, and whether you will have emotional and physical support from family or friends after surgery.

  1. Blood tests

These tests are done to help find a good match with a living donor.
It can also help improve the chances that your body will not reject the donated liver.

  1. Diagnostic tests

Tests may be done to check your liver and your general health.

These tests may include X-rays, ultrasound, liver biopsy, heart and lung tests, colonoscopy, and dental exams.
Women may also have a Pap test, gynecological examination, and mammogram.

  1. The transplant center team will review all your information

Every transplant center has rules about who can perform a liver transplant.

Contraindications to a liver transplant:

  • You have an existing or chronic infection that can never be cured.
  • You have metastatic cancer. This is cancer that has spread from its primary site to one or more parts of the body.
  • You have severe heart problems or other health problems.
  • You have a serious condition besides liver disease that will not improve after the transplant.
  • Unable to continue treatment plan.
  • If the patient wishes to continue drinking alcohol.

What are the risks and complications of a liver transplant?

Some of the complications of liver transplant surgery may include:

  • bleeding.
  • infection.
  • Vascular blockage of the new liver.
  • Bile leaking or blockage of the bile duct.
  • The new liver does not function after transplantation.
  • Some liver diseases can return after transplantation.

Your body's immune system (the immune system) may reject your new liver.
Rejection This is a normal reaction of the body to any foreign object or tissue.

When a new liver is transplanted into your body, your immune system thinks it's a threat and attacks it.

To help the new liver survive in your body, you must take medicines to combat this rejection (immunosuppressants).
Most of the time, lifelong use of these drugs is required.

To help the transplant work, you may start taking hepatitis B or C medications beforehand, if you have these diseases.

How do I prepare for a liver transplant?

You may be asked to sign a consent form granting permission to perform the surgery.
Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.

You should not eat for 8 hours before the surgery.
That is, they will often ask you not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

You may be given medicine to help you relax (sedative) before the surgery.

Your supervising physician may have other instructions for you based on your medical condition.

How is the liver transplant done?

 First you will be asked to undress and give you a gown to wear.

An IV will be placed in your arm or hand.
Other tubes (catheters) will be placed in your neck and wrist. Or they may be placed under your collarbone or in the area between your abdomen and thigh (groin). These are used to check your heart and blood pressure, and to take blood samples.

You will be placed on your back on the operating table.

If there is a lot of hair at the surgical site, you may be asked to cut it the day before the operation.

A catheter will be placed in your bladder to drain urine.

After you're sedated, the anesthesiologist will insert a tube into your lungs.
Connect your lung to a (ventilator). The anesthesiologist will continue to check your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level during surgery.

The skin over the surgery site will be cleaned with a sterile (antiseptic) solution.

The doctor will make a cut (incision) just under the ribs on either side of your abdomen.
The incision extends straight up a short distance above the breastbone. The surgical incision varies depending on the center and the nature of the patient's abdomen.

Forms of surgical incision in different types of liver transplantation

The doctor will carefully separate the affected liver from nearby organs and structures.

Connecting arteries and veins will be blocked to stop blood flow to the affected liver.

Various surgical methods may be used to remove the affected liver and transplant the donated liver.
The method used depends on your situation.

The affected liver is removed after it has been cut off from the blood vessels.

The surgeon will examine the donated liver before it is transplanted into your body.

The donor's liver will be connected to the blood vessels.
And blood flow to the new liver will begin.

The surgeon will check for any bleeding at the place of the stitches and then the new liver will be attached to the bile ducts.

The incision will then be closed with surgical stitches or sutures.

A detonator may be placed at the site of the incision to reduce swelling.

A sterile bandage will be applied.

What happens after a liver transplant?

in the hospital

After surgery, you may be taken to a recovery room for a few hours before being transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).
You will be closely monitored in the intensive care unit for several days.

You will be connected to the monitors. They will display your heartbeat, blood pressure, other pressure readings, your breathing rate, and your oxygen level.
You will need to stay in the hospital for one to two weeks or longer.

You will likely have a tube in your throat.
This is so you can breathe with the help of a machine (ventilator). This machine will stay on until you can breathe on your own. Depending on your condition, you may need to be intubated for a few hours or a few days.

You may have a thin plastic tube inserted through your nose into your stomach to remove the air you swallow.
The tube will be taken out when your intestines begin to function normally again.

You won't be able to eat or drink until the tube is removed.

Blood samples will be taken frequently to check the new liver.
They will also check the functioning of the kidneys, lungs, and blood circulation.

You may have an IV catheter to help see the pressure of your heart and blood vessels and to control any bleeding problems.

You may receive antibiotics.

Once the stomach and lung tubes are removed and your general condition has stabilized, you will be able to start drinking fluids.
You can slowly start eating solid foods as directed.

Your immunosuppressive medications will be closely monitored to make sure you are getting the correct dose and the correct combination of medications.

When your doctors feel you are ready, you will be moved from the intensive care unit to a special room.
You'll be able to move more slowly as you get out of bed and walk for longer periods of time.

You will slowly be able to eat more solid foods.

Your transplant team will teach you how to take care of yourself when you get home.

don't hesitate bato contact us, In the event of any problem after the operation or if there are inquiries about the operation and its cost in Turkey.

What is done to prevent rejection after a liver transplant?

You must take anti-rejection medications (immunosuppressants) for the rest of your life or at the very least for ten years to help the transplanted liver stay in your body. It weakens your immune system's response.

What anti-rejection drugs are taken after a liver transplant?

After a liver transplant, you'll take anti-rejection medications called immunosuppressants.
These medications slow or suppress your immune system to prevent it from rejecting the new liver.

It may include:

  • azathioprine (Imuran®)
  • Myophenolate mofetil (Cellcept®)
  • Prednisone (Deltasone®, Kidal®, Medrol®, Orasone®, Prelone®, Sterapred DS®)
  • cyclosporine (Neoral®)
  • Tacrolimus, AKA FK506 (Prograf®)
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune®).

You should take one or a combination of these medications exactly as prescribed for the rest of your life.

Each person may react differently to medications, and each transplant team has different drug preferences.

New anti-rejection drugs are constantly being manufactured and approved by surgeons.
Your doctor will develop an appropriate medication treatment plan for you.

In most cases, you will initially take several immunosuppressive medications. Dosages may change a lot, depending on how you respond to them. Because the anti-rejection drugs affect the immune system, people who have had a liver transplant are more likely to get infections.

Some of the infections that you'll be more at risk of developing include:

  • Oral fungal infection (thrush).
  • Herpes (as a reminder, the rate of infection with this virus in Turkey is very low compared to other countries.
  • Respiratory viruses.
  • For the first few months after surgery, you should avoid contact with relatives, friends, or anyone with an infection.

This permanent inhibition of immunity is considered the most important damage to liver transplantation.

Each person may have different symptoms of rejection. Some common symptoms of rejection include

are one of the following:

  • Fever.
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • Dark colored urine.
  • severe itching;
  • Abdominal swelling or inflammation.
  • Feeling very tired (tiredness).
  • Headache.
  • upset stomach

Symptoms of rejection after a liver transplant may look like other health problems.
Talk with your transplant team about any concerns you have.

It is important to see and talk to them often.

The success rate of the operation in Turkey ranges between 85 and 90 percent. The chance of liver transplantation success and your long-term survival depends on your specific case.
In general, where I found Studies After a 10-year follow-up, about 70% of people who underwent liver transplants survived.

Liver and organ transplantation in general is a long process and most likely your stay in Turkey may take up to six months.
It also needs constant communication with the supervising doctor.

You can also read on our website about Organ transplantation in Turkey.

Common Questions

The only way to treat cirrhosis is a liver transplant from another person, as the cirrhotic tissues unfortunately cannot return to their normal state.

Liver transplantation in Turkey is only done by a dead person or a donor from the patient’s first to fourth degree relatives. As for taking from a dead person, this cannot be done if the person is a foreigner, so the liver can only be obtained if there is a donor from Relatives of the patient.

In general, it varies according to the degree of the center and if there is hepatitis B, but the cost ranges between 40 thousand and 80 thousand US dollars.

Although the success rate of the operation is higher, the cost of liver transplantation in Germany exceeds 100,000 US dollars, regardless of the accommodation expenses that may take up to six months.

The cost in India also starts at $31,000, which is very close to the prices in Turkey, although post-immunosuppression viral infections are much higher than in Turkey.

The best hospitals for liver transplantation in Turkey are Koç Hospital, Turgut Ozal and Research Hospital in Ankara, in addition to several other hospitals.

Every patient over the age of 65 is classified as the elderly. Liver transplantation can be performed in the absence of concomitant diseases.

The donor and the recipient can come with three people to Turkey for liver transplantation.

The success rate in liver transplantation in children is similar to that of adults, meaning it ranges between 85-90%.

Of course, liver transplantation can be done for cancer patients, as it is performed, unlike some European countries, for advanced stages, in the absence of vectors.

No, blood group compatibility is sufficient for liver transplantation.

As long as medical rules are followed, the main purpose of liver transplantation is to return to social and work life, because it transforms the sick individual into a healthy one.

Post-transplant sports are especially recommended, and sports that strain the abdominal muscles should be avoided. In the period following a successful transplant, the patient's greatest desire is to return immediately to his previous physical activity after feeling well. Although this may be beneficial for our patients both mentally and physically, there are some limitations to sports and physical activity initially. Physical activity can be started in the form of daily walks ie 2-3 months after the operation. In the beginning, these walks should be slow, (2-3 times a week, each of 30 minutes). In the following months, it is possible to exercise, such as running, by consulting a doctor in person. In any case, sports that increase pressure on the abdomen should be avoided. The most suitable sports for a liver transplant patient in the postoperative period 1-1.5 years; Walking, running, cycling and swimming. Although it varies from patient to patient.

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