Face transplant is the replacement of some or all of the human face tissues deformed due to burns, illness, or birth defects. The first face transplant surgery in the world was performed in Spain. The first full face transplant was performed at Akdeniz University in 2012. Prof. Dr. Ömer Özkan from Akdeniz University and his team performed the surgery, and face of Ahmet Kaya who had committed suicide in Uşak, was transferred to Uğur Acar whose face had been completely burnt. With an operation that was widely covered by Turkish and world press, the face was transplanted to Uğur Acar who lived in Gebece village of Manavgat district and whose face had been completely burnt as a result of a fire that broke out in their home when he was 40 days old. Acar was sleeping in his cradle when a blanket that caught fire fell on him. Turkey’s first face transplant patient Acar currently has 95 percent of face functions as well as making gestures and facial expressions. The second operation was successfully performed at Hacettepe University.
Turkey follows France that performs world’s most face transplants. The fourth face transplant in Turkey was performed on Turan Çolak. The face of Tevfik Yılmaz, who passed away at the age of 19, was transferred to Çolak whose face was burnt at a young age. The fifth face transplant was performed at Akdeniz University and Recep Sert who was injured on his face when a shotgun misfired, received a face. Breaking new grounds in Turkey, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Ömer Özkan stated the following on the subject: “We perform the transplants as meticulously as we can. It is our duty to raise the bar. We talk less and work more. Uğur was our first patient with whom we set off. Before that, we had performed an arm transplant on Cihan in 2010. It is our seventh year with Cihan, fifth year with Uğur and sixth year of the womb transplant.”
Turkey is one of World’s Best Countries in Face Transplant
Assoc. Dr. Özlenen Özkan ( Akdeniz University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Faculty Member)
“This procedure cannot be performed on everyone. This decision must be taken together with the team. If the patient suffers from serious medical conditions, face transplant must be performed. The whole world knows our experience regarding face transplant. Turkey is one of world’s best countries in face transplant. We will perform new procedures if there are donors. We have some patients that need transplants. If cadaver organs are donated, many lives will change.”