Turkey showcases health sector advances with five simultaneous liver transplants

Surgeons at a university hospital in Turkey may have set a new world record after performing five simultaneous liver transplants involving live donors, media there have reported.

The surgery took place at the İnönü University’s Turgut Özal Medical Centre in the eastern province of Malatya between 8am and 8pm on Wednesday, 12 June, according to Hürriyet Daily News (HDN).

A team of around 100 health care professionals, including 36 surgeons, performed the procedures inside 10 operating rooms, HDN said.

The five donors had all agreed to have a portion of their healthy livers removed and then placed immediately into relatives and friends in desperate need of a donation. The remaining and donated parts of the liver then gradually grow to normal size.

Among the donors was a young mother, Serap Kaya, who gave her liver to her three-year-old son, Beytullah, according to HDN.

One recipient, Hakan Doğan, said he had agreed to the operation after his liver began to fail six months ago.

“We have come here knowing that the [health staff] here are a world-renowned team. Hopefully, our trust will not be in vain,” he was quoted as saying.

“The surgery excites me. Also, that we’ll be part of a record and this will make an impression for Turkey is additionally important for me.”

A total of 10 expert witnesses from around the world and an official from the Turkish Health Ministry were on hand to observe the organ transplants, which were documented with video cameras.

The footage, together with documents and declarations from the witnesses, will be submitted to Guinness World Records, it was reported.

“We hope to bring success to our country’s agenda,” Dr Sezai Yılmaz of İnönü University said ahead of the world record attempt.

İnönü University Turgut Özal Medical Centre, Malatya, Turkey. Photo © doktorlarsitesi.com


The medical centre performs around 250 transplants per year and is also said to act as a training centre for medical professionals seeking to work in Turkey.

Turkish Health Ministry official Ahmet Tekin said that in the past patients had flown abroad for a new organ but that this year “hundreds of patients” were now electing to have transplant surgery in Turkey.