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Liver Transplant in Istanbul

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Liver transplant surgery, also known as hepatic transplantation is a procedure in which a patient’s liver is replaced with all or some of

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Koc Healthcare Institutions

Istanbul, Turkey
2 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International
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Memorial Sisli Hospital

Istanbul, Turkey
30 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International ISO 9001:2000 - International Organization for Standardization TTB - Turkish Medical Association
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Acibadem Maslak Hospital

Istanbul, Turkey
10 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International ISO 9001:2008 - International Organization for Standardization
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Memorial Atasehir Hospital

Istanbul, Turkey
15 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International ISO 9001:2000 - International Organization for Standardization TTB - Turkish Medical Association
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Medipol Mega University Hospital

Istanbul, Turkey
8 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International
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Medical Park Goztepe Hospital

Istanbul, Turkey
3 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International EMBT - European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation ISCT - International Society for Cellular Therapy
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Florence Nightingale Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey
6 reviews
JCI - Joint Commission International ISO 9001:2000 - International Organization for Standardization TÜV SÜD - Technical Control Unit
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Average Ratings:  
74 reviews


Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey and In Europe, according to population – it has over 14 million inhabitants. Istanbul is Turkey’s financial, cultural and healthcare hub – it’s the city with the most JCI accredited private hospitals. The city spreads on both sides of the Bosphorus – The strait that divides the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. Istanbul also connects Europe to Asia forming a very interesting mix, both gastronomically and culturally.

Over 11 million tourists visited Istanbul in 2012, making it the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world.

Sights to See

The Blue Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque incorporates Islamic architecture and Byzantine Christian elements in its design. It is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The Mosque got its name from the 20,000 Iznik blue ceramic tiles used to line its interiors. The Blue Mosque is also the final resting place of Sultan Ahmed which commissioned the building in 1609, with work finishing in 1616.

Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern is one of the most popular tourist sites in Istanbul. The Cistern is huge, with a total of 336 columns arranged in 12 rows. It was built in order to store water during the Byzantine time – in the 6th century. Most of the columns feature decorative carvings, as they were re-used from other classical-age structures. Some of the most interesting columns on the site are the Medusa stones, in the north-west corner of the Cistern.

Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace is one of the finest examples of Islamic art and architecture. The palace itself was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 15th century and has been the residence of Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years. The palace is a vast complex of richly decorated courtyards and rooms. The palace features a Harem, the Imperial Treasury room, the Imperial Council Chamber, the Second Court, the Third Court (the Sultan’s private rooms) and the Palace Kitchens. The palace became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and has been described as “one of the best examples of palaces of the Ottoman period”.

Tourists can enjoy a wide range of shopping centres and bazaars such as the Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian bazaar and many modern shopping malls all around Istanbul.

Things to Know

● Tourists arriving in Istanbul will be required to purchase a tourist Visa – the procedure can be easily done online or at a visa machine before the immigration section of the airport. The Visa costs around 20 USD.

● There are 3 main airports in Istanbul. Hazerfen Airport is a private airport with limited traffic. Atatürk Airport is located on the European side of Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. Usually planes land at the Atatürk Airport (IATA:IST) which is just 20 km from the city centre. From there a visitor can take a taxi to Taksim Square for around TRY60. Tourists can also use a local airport service called Havataş which runs express bus services every 30 minutes for around TRY11 to Taksim Square and Aksaray.

● Food and drink at the airport is quite expensive and may cost 4 times more than in the city. It is advisable to bring your own meals from the town if you have a lot of waiting to do at the airport. There is also a supermarket close to the airport metro entrance where you can buy reasonably priced food and drink.

● You can change any sort of currency into the Turkish Lira (TRY) just about anywhere across Istanbul. Most shops and supermarkets also accept credit cards for payment.

● Roaming fees in Turkey are expensive, but you can simply buy a new SIM card when you reach Istanbul and use it for the duration of your stay.

● Istanbul has a humid subtropical climate, so the summer months are generally warm and in winter temperatures differ from place to place.

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Liver Transplant

Liver transplant surgery, also known as hepatic transplantation is a procedure in which a patient’s liver is replaced with all or some of a donor’s healthy liver. Orthotopic liver transplantation surgery is one of the most common types of liver transplantation procedures - the new liver is positioned in the same anatomic location as the original, diseased one. In Heterotopic liver transplantation surgery, a part of the new liver is sewn onto a part of the patient’s diseased liver.

The average liver transplant list had patients waiting 232 days on average, for liver transplantation surgery. Living donor liver transplant surgery can be performed by using the liver of a spouse, volunteer, sibling, child, parent or any member of the family.

Liver Transplant Candidates

A liver transplantation procedure is recommended for individuals suffering from end stage liver disease or acute liver failure.

Am I Suitable for Liver Transplant?

Liver transplantation surgery is not recommended for individuals suffering from heart or lung disease, infections such as osteomyelitis or tuberculosis, cancer or other life threatening conditions.

Preparing for Liver Transplant

The patient will need to pass thorough tests before undergoing a liver transplant operation:

● Heart tests
● Blood and urine tests
● Health examinations

How is Liver Transplant Performed?

Liver transplant criteria states that a living donor organ transplant can only be done from relatives up to the fourth degree – this includes the patient’s family members, the patient’s spouse and the patient’s spouse’s family members. In some medical centres volunteers can be donors for liver transplant surgery. Other liver transplant criteria include:

● The donor must be in good health
● Having a compatible blood type
● Age between 18 and 60
● Being of similar size with the recipient

The procedure is done under general anaesthesia. Around 55 to 70% of the right lobe of a living donor is removed and sewn onto the recipients remaining liver. The donor’s liver will start to regenerate straight away, reaching full function in around 4-6 weeks. The transplanted liver will also regain 100% functionality and size, but it will take more time – in some cases liver transplant recovery lasts up to a year. Once the procedure is complete, the recipient will have to spend two days in intensive care and 21 days in a transplant recovery area. The transplant donor will also have to spend around 10 days in hospital. Regular blood tests will be required after the transplant.

Liver Transplant Risks and Complications

Liver transplantation is a relatively risky procedure and complications can and do occur, both for the recipient and donor. Donors face a 0.5 to 1% chance of death during or after the procedure.

Liver transplant complications can include:

● Bleeding
● The formation of blood clots
● Infection
● Donated liver failure
● Donated liver rejection
● Bile duct complications

If the patient thoroughly respects all the liver transplant guidelines and the procedure is done at a trustworthy, modern facility, the chances of these complications occurring are reduced.

Liver Transplant Side Effects

Since special immune system depressant drugs are taken after liver transplantation surgery, patients can suffer from a wide range of side effects, including:

● Vomiting and nausea
● High blood pressure and cholesterol
● Anemia
● Arthritis
● Diabetes
● Tremors
● Diarrhea and others

Liver Transplant Success Rates

The liver transplant survival rate after 5 years is 78% for transplants with a living donor, while the liver transplant life expectancy after 15 years is 58%. The liver transplant success rate also depends on the type of illness the recipient carries, the patient’s age and ability to follow post-op guidelines.

Before and After Liver Transplant

Liver transplantation recipients must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives. Smoking and alcohol consumption are strictly prohibited after a liver transplant procedure. Regular cancer tests are required as well, as immunosuppressive drugs increase the chance of cancer developing. The patient will need to have regular checkups after a liver transplantation procedure – first weekly then the checkups can be less often.

Liver Transplant FAQ

– How long does a liver transplant last?
In some cases, transplants have lasted up to 30 years. 58% of patients live another 15 years and 48% of patients can live up to 18 years. In recent years, liver transplant survival rates have improved greatly.

– Does a partial liver transplant provide the same results as a full transplant?
Yes, living donor liver transplants provide the same success rate as a regular full size liver transplantation procedure.

– How many patients generally suffer from liver transplant rejection?
Liver transplant rejection affects around 15 to 26% of recipients. Immunosuppressive drugs are generally administered to all patients.