(Living Donor) Liver Transplantation in Turkey

Live Donor Liver Transplantation in Turkey

(Living Donor) Liver Transplantation in Turkey

Our body is the most priceless possession we have, so it’s necessary to take good care of it. With ever-evolving health care facilities around the world, one must seek the most feasible option available. The cumulative idea of awareness towards better healthcare provision and medical tourism has unlatched many viable options for patients around the globe.

Turkey has been the pioneer of medical tourism in the last decade, surpassing many western countries. Taking medical help abroad needs intensive research considering all the pros and cons. To get the picture clear, below are some points that might help you to make a sane decision.

  1. The Turkish Ministry of Health handles about 55% of the health care sector, which includes about 1200+ hospitals. Private companies and foreign organizations own the other portion.
  2. Almost all hospitals have local and international affiliations like ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and JCI (Joint Commissions International) JACHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations).
  3. Turkish hospitals are well equipped with the latest medical tools that give their service an upper hand. The doctors and staff are a delight to interact and speak English fluently, so communication won’t be a barrier.


The liver plays a significant part in the process of digestion. It is present in a very sophisticated position, in the upper right portion of the abdomen, beneath the diaphragm, and, on top of the stomach.

Biologists have proved that the liver administered almost 500 major and minor functions. Some of the primary functions include:

  • Conversion of excess glucose to glycogen for the stored form of energy.
  • Processing hemoglobin for the use of its iron content. It also stores iron.
  • Blood level regulations of amino acid, which are the building block of proteins, conversation of ammonia to urea, blood clotting, etc. are major functions of the liver.

Considering the functions of the liver, its proper functioning is paramount.

The liver is a vital organ responsible for synthesizing enzymes and proteins, the removal of degradation products of regular body metabolism, as well as the metabolism of toxins and drugs in the body. It is also responsible for the creation of the liquid bile, which helps eliminate metabolic toxins and waste via the intestine and dissolve fat.

Liver failure could occur quickly or over a prolonged period. Acute liver failure happens in a matter of weeks and is usually a result of medication-induced liver injury. Chronic liver failure, on the other hand, occurs slowly over months or even years and can be caused by multiple conditions. These include liver cirrhosis, the commonest reason, as well as genetic diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, alcoholic liver diseases, and even Hepatitis B and C.

One of the most recommended procedures for patients suffering from the acute liver condition is the liver transplant, where the diseased part is replaced with a partial or a whole, healthy liver from a donor. Currently, a liver transplant is the only cure for liver failure or insufficiency, as there isn’t any machine or device which can reliably perform all the functions of a liver. Those requiring liver transplants usually suffer from significant complications due to end-stage chronic liver diseases, and liver transplants are usually reserved for them.

Liver transplantation is the surgical replacement of a damaged or diseased liver with a healthy liver. Transplantation is the only remedy in case of both acute and chronic liver failure as no device can replicate the work of a functioning liver.

Acute liver failure is also known as fulminant hepatic failure, where colossal damage in the liver results in its inefficacious functions. This can happen because of several reasons, including viral infections, ingestion of poisonous mushroom, acetaminophen overdose, or peculiar drug reaction. Altered mental condition encephalopathy after eight weeks of jaundice are some prime aspects of acute liver failure. Unlike chronic cases, patients, in this case, need immediate transplantation in order to save a life.

Chronic liver failure is a result of prolonged damage to the liver over many years. Cirrhosis is the end stage of liver impairment, medication can help for a while, but transplantation is the only permanent cure.

Alarming symptoms which require immediate medical attention are

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Jaundice
  • Mental confusion (hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Swollen belly

It’s very disheartening to get the news about liver failure. But instead of spending time in grief, it is better to start treatment.

Liver transplant in Turkey & Pediatric liver transplant in Turkey has blazed a trail with a skyrocketing success rate. Efficient care and modern treatment have left many patients with a smiling face. Negotiating with health is no less than sin, so one must go for the best.

Living donor liver transplant is the second most performed surgery due to liver cells’ unique ability to regenerate its parts for which living liver can also be used as a donor. When it comes to surgery, people want to invest in an experienced doctor with a splendid track record. In the case of children, the transplantation should be done with utter care.

Turkey is leading in this sector due to its skilled doctors, transparent donor list, and top-notch medical tools. Therefore parents all over the world are putting trust for pediatric liver transplant in Turkey only. In biliary atresia, the common bile duct between the liver and small intestine is blocked or absent. But thanks to the advanced transplantation techniques, almost 80-90% of infants with biliary atresia survive to adulthood.

Who can be a living organ donor in Turkey?


The following are the relations which can be potential donors for the patient:

  • 1st-degree relative: Mother, Father, Child
  • 2nd-degree relative: Brother/Sister, Grandmother, Grandfather, And Grandbaby
  • 3rd-degree relative: Uncle, Aunt, Mother-in-law, Father-in-law, Cousin
  • 4th-degree relative: All the Children of 3-degree relatives
  • A friend/buddy can also donate with approval from the ethical committee.

An idea about how the transplantation is done?

Length of time required for surgery

To start with, the live donor liver transplantation takes 3-4 hours to remove the parts of the liver from the donor. Thereafter it takes almost half a day to implant it into the recipient.


The surgery generally consists of two phases.

  1. In the first phase, a long incision is made near the donor’s abdomen, and a previously decided portion required for the recipient is removed. This generally ranges between 25-65 percent according to the need.
  2. In the second phase, also a similar incision is made, and the healthy liver is implanted inside the recipient. All the veins, arteries, bile ducts are attached to the donor’s liver and monitored till all the connections are well established and start working efficiently.

Recovery time after Liver Transplantation

At least six months is required to completely heal from the surgery. Going back to work or outside chores need to be restricted in this time period to avoid any complications. Recovery totally depends on the patients healing ability and severity of the surgery.

Children generally need a lesser time to heal. But monthly visits to the pediatric intensive care unit are a must.

Risks involved in Liver Transplant surgery

Liver transplant comes with a substantial amount of risk both for procedure and drugs given to counter the rejection of the donor’s liver.

Some common problems cited by patients are bile duct complications including, bile duct leak or shrinkage, rejection of the donated liver, blood clots. Some long term risks involve bone thinning, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Most risks can be countered if the patient is admitted with sufficient time in hand. Last-minute deals are always tricky.


Patients have to take a series of medications, including immunosuppressants to prevent rejection, some to fight infections, and other for side effects, if any, caused by immunosuppressant.

A healthy diet must be maintained, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and enough fiber to the diet. Fat intake should be reduced, and switching to a low-fat diet is preferable.

Why consider a liver transplant?

Successful surgery can change the whole perspective of the life of a patient. Statistics state that almost 75% of people live for at least FIVE years after transplantation.

Children can be saved in the last stage with a healthy donor or someone from the family with the same blood group.

Undoubtedly the surgery is complicated, but liver transplant in turkey has shown some remarkable results in past years. The tremendous influx of patients from every corner of the world is an indicative sign of it.

Treatment in Turkey

  • Hospital providing treatment – Medicana Group of hospitals, Liv hospital Ulus, Memorial Sisli hospital, etc. are providing world-class medical facilities. These hospitals have some internationally certified best doctors and provide customized treatment according to the patient’s needs. Also, the treatments are cost-effective and don’t go deep in the pocket. Hospitals around the world struggle to find potential donors for the treatment, but Turkish hospitals have set a hallmark in live donor liver transplantation with hundreds of donors ready to donate in any emergency.
  • Cost of treatment – It generally ranges between 50-70k USD. Costs are variable according to the requirements of the patient. Liver transplant in Turkey costs half of the fee charged in western countries; hence it is the perfect one-stop solution for anyone who is looking for the best treatment at a low-cost. The average cost of liver transplant in the US or UK costs anywhere from $600,000 – $800,000. What if you can get the same quality of treatment for less than half the price? Turkish Medical Services (TMS) offers you the most affordable treatment package that is viable anywhere in the world, providing you with the best care possible. From linking you the best specialist in the world to facilitating treatment, accommodation, travel, visa, etc. we ensure that you have access to the best in the world without breaking your bank.

What makes TMS (Turkish Medical Service) best among the rest?

Turkish Medical service (TMS) offers you the most affordable treatment package that is viable anywhere in the world, providing you with the best care possible. From linking you the best specialist in the world to facilitating treatment, accommodation, travel, visa, etc. We ensure that you have access to the best in the world without breaking your bank.


The pre-surgery assessment, medication side-effect test, surgical transplantation, aftercare would approximately cost you 60-70k USD. A 15 day stay in the hospital is advisable, and the next 15 day near the hospital for routine checkups. Living donor liver transplant is performed by more than many premium hospitals with an impressive success rate.

Turkey is lined by a chain of hospitals that provides extraordinary care to the children. All hospitals have Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which makes pediatric liver transplantation in Turkey a huge success.

Not at all. As it is a sedation surgery, so you won’t feel a thing during the surgery. However, there will be a bit of soreness around the healing area post the transplantation, but that happens in every surgery.

Meet Our Doctors

 (Living Donor) Liver Transplantation in Turkey

Prof. Ayhan DINCKAN, MD


General Surgeon , Chief Doctor of Organ Transplant Centers in Istinye University Hospital, Istanbul, VM Medical Park Florya Hospital, Istanbul

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 (Living Donor) Liver Transplantation in Turkey

Prof. İbrahim Aliosmanoğlu

General Surgery (Liver Transplantation)

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