Prof. Dr. Omer Ozkan of Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey's southern province of Antalya and his team have started to transplant the face of brain dead Muhittin Turan to a 54-year-old Turkish patient, Salih Ustun.
31-year-old Turan experienced a motorbike accident two days ago, and suffered brain death at the hospital. The family of Turan decided to donate his organs.
Prof. Dr. Omer Ozkan, surgeon at the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at the Akdeniz University Hospital in Antalya, who also performed the first and fourth face transplantation surgeries in Turkey, came to the hospital on Thursday at 11 pm to harvest the face of Turan. Turan's scalp, eyelids, jaw and maxilla, nose and half his tongue were harvested by Dr. Ozkan during a successful operation which lasted about 8 hours.
Dr. Ozkan, who harvested the face, came to the Akdeniz University Hospital at 7.15 a.m. Dr. Ozkan said to a journalist at the hospital, "everything is OK!." The operation of the face transplantation started at 7.30 a.m.
Turkey's Face Transplantation History
Turkey's face transplantation adventure began when the family of Ahmet Kaya, who committed a suicide on January 21, 2012, donated his face. The face removed from Kaya was transplanted to 19-year-old Ugur Acar, whose face was almost completely seared by a burning blanket when he was only 40 days old. The successful operation, a first in Turkish plastic surgery history, put Prof. Dr. Omer Ozkan and his team in the spotlight of international and Turkish media.
The second face transplantation surgery in Turkey was performed at Ankara's Hacettepe University on Cengiz Gul while the third one occurred on March 17, 2012 at Ankara's Gazi University Faculty of Medicine with a partial face transplantation operation on 20-year-old Hatice Nergis.
Turkey's fourth and fifth face transplantation surgeries were again performed by Prof. Omer Ozkan at Akdeniz University Hospital
During the fourth transplantation, the face of 19-year-old Tevfik Yilmaz was transplanted to 34-year-old Turan Colak.
Within the scope of the fifth transplantation, the face of brain dead Polish tourist Andrej Kucza was transplanted to 27-year-old Turkish patient Recep Sert who was injured in the face by a shotgun.