Foreign patients prefer Turkey for liver transplants

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Liver patients from abroad are preferring an internationally renowned medical center in eastern Turkey that specializes in liver transplants.

The Turgut Ozal Medical Center at Inonu University in the Malatya province has been carrying out successful liver transplants since 2001. And in 2005, the center started doing transplants with livers taken from living donors.

Mukambai Kurmankozhoev, 65, from Kyrgyzstan is just one of the dozens of liver patients who applied to the medical center from his home country.

“Before coming here, I investigated the liver transplants carried out in the U.S., Russia and South Korea. Then, I heard about the transplants done here at the Turgut Ozal Medical Center, and I preferred here,” Kurmankozhoev told Anadolu Agency.

“The doctors in Kyrgyzstan also advised me to come here,” he added.

His nephew donated part of his liver to Kurmankozhoev.

“I feel like I have been reborn. We didn’t make a mistake by picking this center for the operation. The health service here is quite good.”

Another patient from Georgia who was also suffering from liver failure holds similar views.

Tsiuri Rukhadze, a 77-year-old retired nurse, applied to the medical center on a friend’s recommendation.

“In Georgia, they [health experts] told me that I needed to recover to be able to undergo a surgery, that for this, I needed to wait for three years. However, I came here and they performed my surgery immediately. I have recovered significantly since the operation,” she said.

She praised the “good health services” at the center and thanked the medical staff.

Fuat Mamadov, 56, from Azerbaijan also underwent a liver transplant at the center two weeks ago.

“I feel well right now. I thank all the doctors here,” Mamadov said. “The doctors told me that I can be discharged from the hospital within 10 days.”

80 transplants in four months

Eighty transplants have been carried out at the center in the first four months this year, Prof. Sezai Yilmaz, the director of the Liver Transplant Institute at the Turgut Ozal Medical Center, said.

The number of liver transplants carried out so far is over 2,200. Last year, 223 liver patients had a transplant, Yilmaz noted.

Stating that the success rate of the operations is over 95 percent, he said that particularly North African, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian patients preferred the center.

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