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A Second Life Chance with Heart Transplant

Orthotopic heart transplantation, which is made for the fifth time in IU Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty, was achieved with success with academic member in the department Prof. Dr. Gökhan İpek and his team.

A heart transplant took place as a result of orthotopic heart transplantation in 10th of February 2016 by the team led by Prof. Dr. Gökhan İpek. The 51-year-old patient, who has been waiting for a heart transplant for a year and who has been in intensive care unit for 2 months for being diagnosed “ischemic cardiomyopathy” and who had had by-pass operation before, received a 35-year-old donor’s heart.

A Second Chance to a Patient Always Should Be Given”

Prof. Dr. İpek talked about how dangerous it is technically to give a second chance to a patient who has had a heart operation before and added, “If a patient who has had a heart operation is diagnosed with cardiac insufficiency, a second chance should be given to those people. But usually in the cases of hear operations, doctors advise them to ‘manage with medicine”. However, one always has to think about a second chance. Of course, technically it is more difficult to treat a heart which has had an operation before compared to a heart which hasn’t had any operation. If we can heal our patient with treatment, we do not prefer to apply for transplantation. But if there is no chance of treatment, a second chance should be given, especially for young people, instead of leaving them dead.”

“The Secret to Success is to Work Coordinated”

Prof. Dr. İpek has explained that the operation which took about 2,5 hours was quite difficult but the patient is in a good state. Prof. Dr. İpek underlined that he has a team which is very crowed and consists of people working devotedly and added, “Coordination of this is my job. Especially my assistants Prof. Dr. Suat Nail Ömeroğlu and Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz Göksedef are also a part of our team. Our team does not consist only of doctors. Anesthetists, cardiologists, nurses, assistant health personnel are also a part of this team. When a patient wakes up and smiles and says thank you, it makes us happy and forget all about our tiredness.”

“Heart is a Hard Organ to Find”

Explaining heart transplant process Prof. Dr. İpek said: “A patient who is diagnosed with cerebral death is examined carefully. Another committee gives the cerebral death report and asks “There is a heart for transplantation with these qualities. Is there any convenient patient of yours, waiting for transplantation?” We already report our patients waiting in line. The patient who is suitable for that particular heart comes to hospital, and a part of our team brings the heart. And we make the transplantation. The process advances this way but patient relatives may still think ‘the heart has not stopped yet, you’ll take it once it stops’, this way of thinking is still common. Awareness must be raised on this matter. Because heart is a fatal organ and there’s only one in human body, it is not as easy to find as a kidney or a liver. %70 of the patients to whom heart transplantation cannot be done die within years. Whereas, there are patients who has been living for 17 years after a heart transplantation.”

“It is Possible to Increase Life-Span with Heart Transplantation”

Prof. Dr. İpek saying that we are in a very good condition in transplantation shared his opinion: “We have certain laws on this matter but still this is a heartfelt act. We can’t take the hearts of donor candidates without the permission of their families. We give 10-20 years more to the patients with the transplantations we succeed. In the meantime medicine advances. And the chance of the patient increases. For example, there are fields that we may define as ‘organ breeding’.

Stating that the value of transplantation should not only be mentioned during Transplant Week he said: “The importance of transplantation should be reawakened periodically. It is important to state the significance of an organ for a patient. The same thing can happen to anybody, we should make everyone realize that.”

Prof. Dr. İpek finished his speech as: “It makes us happy to create a new life. We are more than happy to see the gleam in the eye of the patient and his/her family. Our patients, who will hopefully have many years to live, see their transplantation day as a birthday and celebrate as such, and they even have us as their guests. It is delightful to have a role in their happiness.”

Reporter: Lale CANSU TUTAR

Translation: Zeynep ÇELEBİ, Merve Ceren EROĞLU

IU Directorate of Press and Public Relations

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26/02/2016
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