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Live Donor Liver Transplantation in Turkey

Live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is considered to be one of the most complicated surgical procedures. Surgeon’s skill and experience are regarded as the main factors for success. In Turkey, liver transplantation is carried out at state-of-the-art facilities by some of the most highly qualified organ transplantation surgeons in the world.


Prof. Dr. Munci Kalayoglu

organ transplantation surgeon in turkey

Dr. Kalayoglu started his career in Turkey in 1972. In 1981 he moved to the US first as a visiting professor at Pittsburgh University, then at Wisconsin University. In 1984 he became the head of liver transplantation programme at Wisconsin. He moved back to Turkey in 2006. He is currently the Head of General Surgery and Organ Transplantation at MEMORIAL Hispital in Sisli, Istanbul.

How Liver Transplantation is Carried Out

Transplanting liver from a live donor involves up to two surgical teams working simultaneously on two patients. Diseased liver from the recipient is entirely removed and replaced by a piece of healthy liver from a live donor, typically a relative of the recipient. While this procedure is long (up to 18 hours) and exceptionally complicated, the success rate in recent years is astounding. Typically, death or serious complications occur in less than 0.5% of the cases globally. In Turkey, where only a few hospitals have the necessary government license for organ transplantation, death after LDLT procedures occurs in less than 0.1% of all cases.

Typically, up to 70% of the donor’s liver can be transplanted to the recipient. Donor’s liver will regenerate almost completely just 2 months following a liver transplant.

Risks and Requirements

While the success rate is undeniably impressive, it is partially explained by extremely strict requirements for a patient to be even considered for a liver transplant.

The 5-year success rate following a liver transplantation in Turkey is 86%

Donor Requirements

Live liver donor has to be older than 18 years of age. There is not upper limit on the donor’s age. The most important factor is the condition of the donor’s liver, as well as compatibility of the donor and recipient’s blood types.

Graft Rejection Risk

Following a liver transplant, there is risk of the recipient’s body rejecting the donor organ. It is typically caused by anti-donor antibodies and can happen at any point after a transplant (minutes to months following the procedure). This risk is mitigated through the use of immunosuppressive agents.

Tags: organ transplantation

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