The achievements of medicine in the field of organ transplantation give new hopes and open new perspectives for the vital and urgent needs of thousands of patients all over the world
What is transplantation?
Organ transplantation (spare-part surgery) is replacement of a sick organ that does not perform its functions, with a healthy one.
In the clinics of Turkey the following organ transplantation operations are made successfully: transplantation kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, marrow, bones, eye cornea and small intestine.
The number of patients, who need transplantation of a certain organ, grows practically every day.
Organs for transplanting are taken from an alive person who is a relative of the recipient, or from a deceased person (after the brain death is diagnosed). An organ can be taken from the body only after the brain death is diagnosed. The diagnostics is made on the basis of the strictly defined criteria recognized all over the world. A brigade of neurologists, intensive therapy specialists and anesthesiologists should check various reflexes confirming either cerebral activity or the absence of such activity. Only after the brain death is diagnosed an organ can be taken for transplantation.
Nowadays it is a serious moral and ethical problem: whom to transplant available donor organs, the quantity of which is not enough for all potential recipients.
One of the solutions to this problem can be granting of, for example, a kidney by an alive donor- the recipient’s relative. In this case the donor (mother, father, brother, sister …) after a careful medical examination makes a decision independently whether he/she is willing to offer his/her kidney, with the minimum risk for own health.
Kidney transplantation has become the main method of treatment practically in all cases of the terminal stage of nephrism - which can be a consequence of many diseases.
Liver transplantation is a longer and more serious operation.
Among the most widespread indications for this operation there are VHC and hippy hepatitis. Transplantation is justified if there is a considerable deterioration of the liver function despite the intense and optimum treatment. The main indication is cirrhosis (75 %). In about 10 % of cases it is acute hepatic failure of the organ which used to function normally, 10 % - liver cancer and 5 % - metabolism diseases connected with the liver function.
For liver transplantation operations there are practically no age restrictions, the patient can be from several months up to seventy years old.
The most advanced achievements in the spare-part surgery sphere also include intestines and pancreas transplantation.
An indication for the intestines transplantation is short-gut syndrome (insufficient length of intestines), either congenital or a consequence of a trauma or surgical intervention.
Pancreas transplantation is made with the aim to restore the patient’s glycemia level – as a result enough insulin is produced.
The quantity of heart and lung transplantations has stabilized within the last several years. Partly it can be explained by successful development of traditional medicamental and surgical methods of treatment of heart and lung diseases.
Transplantation medicine is a sphere which combines medical, social, economic and ethical problems. Despite this a number of studies have shown that transplantation is less expensive and more reliable, than a traditional course of treatment (which is by no means always perfect). Successful transplantation returns the patient not only to his/her family and profession, but also to the society.