Liver Transplant Cost in Turkey

Last Modified: August 2, 2020  |   Created on: July 26, 2020
Transplants

“The cost of liver transplant in Turkey starts from USD 70000. The liver transplant hospitals in Turkey offer unparalleled health services at low-cost packages.

A liver transplant surgery can help save a patient’s life when their own liver stops functioning properly and other treatment methods are not effective. The operation involves removing the entire diseased liver of the patient and placing a part of or whole healthy donor liver. 

A functional liver is essential for longevity, as this organ carrier out several important roles such as filtering blood and removing toxins from the body, metabolizing fats and other nutrients and many more. Liver transplant is generally the last-resort for a patient with liver failure due to chronic (long-term) liver diseases or severe acute liver diseases.

This article further elaborates various aspects of the procedure itself, and Liver transplant in Turkey. 

Liver-transplant-surgery-Turkey

Liver transplantation: An overview

Liver transplantation is a surgery to replace the damaged or diseased liver of the patient with a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor. A whole liver or just a part of it might be transplanted into the recipient. 

The liver is the largest organ inside the body, and plays many vital roles for survival. The 

liver performs several critical functions including:

  • Metabolism of drugs and toxins, and removal of toxic by-products of certain medications
  • Metabolism of nutrients from food and produce energy, when needed
  • Removal of products such as ammonia and bilirubin from the blood and others from normal body metabolism 
  • Production of many proteins and enzymes, such as blood clotting factors 
  • Stores energy source and certain vitamins and minerals.
  • Production of bile, which is needed for digestion of fats and absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Helps the body in fighting infection by removing bacteria from the blood.

Who might need a liver transplant?

Liver transplantation is recommended when the patient’s liver stops to function properly, a condition known as liver failure. There can be many causes for a liver failure, including acute and chronic diseases. 

An acute (sudden onset) liver disease due to an infection, complications from certain kind of drugs such as acetaminophen overdose, consumption of a toxin such as poisonous mushrooms, or an uncommon drug reaction.

Chronic (long-term) liver conditions can also lead to liver failure. This is more common and can be caused by several conditions, such as:

  • Chronic viral infections such as hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis: a rare immune system condition that is caused when the immune system starts to attack and destroy the bile ducts, resulting in liver failure
  • Sclerosing cholangitis: a condition in which the bile ducts inside and outside the liver become scarred and narrowed. This leads to a backup of bile in the duct and liver, causing organ failure.
  • Biliary atresia: It is a common reason for the need of liver transplant in children. There is malformation of the bile ducts in this immune system disorder. 
  • Cirrhosis due to overconsumption of alcohol 
  • Wilson’s disease: a rare inherited condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of copper throughout the body, including the liver. 
  • Hemochromatosis: a common hereditary disease in which there is an overload of iron, causing liver damage
  • Amyloidosis: an accumulation an abnormal protein called amyloid in the liver that disrupts the liver functions
  • Liver cancer

 

The transplant team will evaluate the candidate on the basis of several factors when determining their need of a liver transplant and urgency of their condition. These factors include the patient’s:

  • Severity of liver condition
  • Whether there are other medical conditions that need treatment 
  • A prior history of diseases such as tuberculosis and chronic infections such as HIV
  • Overall health status 
  • The psychological health
  • Support from family or friends during the process

Other parameters that the doctors will evaluate is weigh the benefits of the procedure for extending a person’s life against the risks of the surgery in a particular case. The patient is usually given a MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) score, a highly predictive system for the risk of death due to the chronic liver disease.

A patient may not be a suitable candidate for transplant if they also suffer from other chronic conditions that may reduce the chances of transplant’s success. This may include 

  • Cancer that has spread to other body parts
  • A severe heart problem 
  • Systemic or unmanageable infection
  • Active substance or alcohol able 
  • A compromising psychiatric condition
  • Cirrhosis due to alcoholism. In case of alcohol or drug abuse, patient’s history and ability to quit drinking will be evaluated by the transplant committee.

Types of organ donors for liver transplant

Deceased donor 

The donor can be person who is brain-dead or had a cardiac death. Brain death usually occurs due to a large stroke, massive head trauma from a blunt injury, for instance, from a motor vehicle or a road accident, or a penetrating injury, such as a gun shot wound. The trauma will cause all the brain functions to stop (making them brain dead) but their other organs including the liver may continue to function normally.

In some cases, the patient’s brain function has not completely stopped, and they can’t be considered for brain-death organ donation. In these circumstances, the family may decide to withdraw life-support as there is no hope for revival and the intention is to allow the patient to die. It is considered cardiac death and organ donation will be an option, but only if the family gives consent. 

For a deceased donor liver transplantation, the patient has to be on a transplant waiting list, and they will be contacted as soon as a suitable donor liver is available for them. Those with a high MELD/PELD score (calculated by simple blood tests for creatinine, bilirubin, and INR) are assigned organs first.

Living donor 

Liver has a unique ability to regenerate itself and form a complete new organ. This property of the liver allows a living person to donate a part of his/her healthy liver to the patient. The removed liver segment and the remaining part will grow over time to develop a fully functional organ. A living donor liver transplantation allows the recipient to have a timely treatment and avoid some possible complications that might occur while waiting for a deceased donor transplant. Studies have also indicated a longer survival rate for the living donor organ than the deceased donor. 

For a living-donor liver transplant, both the donor and recipient undergo a series of medical, including blood type and body size, and psychological tests to determine the eligibility of the donor candidate. 

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Liver Transplant in Turkey

Turkey has an advanced healthcare sector and is a prime destination for international patients seeking quality medical care. Liver transplantation is one of the most common organ transplantation procedure that is offered by several hospitals across the country. 

Hospitals such as Medicana Group and Liv Hospitals are Ministry of health certified units which not only provide superior standard of healthcare facilities but serves domestic as well as international patients. With a success rate of over 80%- 90%, the programs at the best liver transplant hospitals in Turkey are at the par with the best ones in the world, in terms of patient care and outcomes. 

A transplant team of surgeons, hepatologists, gastroenterologists and specialized transplantation nurses are involved during the procedure. The surgeons for liver transplantation in Turkey are internationally trained in the advanced surgical techniques and have an excellent clinical record. They provide personalized and compassionate care for the patient throughout the process, from pre-evaluation, surgery and post-operative period. 

 

Turkey 

Besides being widely known for the modern infrastructure and superlative quality of medical services, Turkey is a renowned tourist attraction for people all around the world. Numerous tourists travel to cities like Istanbul, Anatolia, Ankara and many others every year. These cities, famous for their rich cultural background and history, offer a variety of spices, exotic cuisines and local street food. Turkey is an intercontinental country, with parts in Asia as well as Europe, and is easily accessible through all the major airlines of the world. The country is surrounded by three different seas – The Black Sea, The Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Stay for liver transplantation in Turkey 

Usually, the stay for almost 20 days is required for liver transplant in Turkey, but the exact length of stay will depend on individual case. Some factors that may affect this duration are the patient’ condition and overall health status, risk of organ rejection (the body’s response to the transplanted organ), whether any other procedure is needed (in case of cancer or multiple organ transplant) and many more. 

The package offered by the hospital will include the cost for the duration of stay in the hospital along with treatment cost. 

After the discharge, the patient may have to stay in Turkey in for some time and have follow-up visits with the transplant surgeon. There are a number of accommodation places in Turkey, ranging from budget-friendly flats or guest houses to luxurious hotels. A person can easily access food places in Turkey that serve multi-cuisine items at an affordable range of price. The hospitals are located in close-proximity to the hotels and restaurants and are well-connected to the airport. Commute within the country is easy with taxis, private vehicles as well as public transport. 

The stay in Turkey

International patients seeking quality healthcare services in Turkey will need a medical visa for their travel. Once the doctors have recommended that a liver transplant is the only treatment option left, and you have decided to travel Turkey for this operation, the first step is to select a suitable hospital. Also, you have to registered with the transplant centre’s selection committee, who will review your reports and determine your eligibility for a liver transplant procedure. Every transplant program has to follow the national guidelines for accepting an individual for a liver transplant.

The next is, if you have a living donor who is willing to donate a part of liver, then notify the hospital and in case you do not have a living donor, get your name placed on the national waiting list for a deceased living donor. You may have to wait for a suitable match for deceased donor, depending on your health condition, age, location, blood type and other factors.

Lyfboat helps:

Lyfboat is a certified organization that aims to help international patients receive reliable and affordable medical care in the country of their choice. We are connected to the top liver transplant hospitals in Turkey that are accredited by global organizations such as Joint Commission International (USA) and others. Our team will help you select the best hospital for your treatment, based on your preferences. We provide a detailed treatment plan and a comparative cost analysis from different hospitals to aid in the selection of appropriate medical centre. We also provide a range of other services such as assistance in arranging accommodation based on your preferences, airport pick up and drop off and other facilities. 

Send your query or contact us: care@lyfboat.com to know more. 

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Liver Transplantation in Turkey?

World's Most Trusted Medical Advisory & Discount Platform

Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Liver transplant cost in Turkey

A liver transplant is a complex procedure and is generally considered to be an expensive one too. However, the prices for liver transplant in Turkey is significantly lower than many western countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and more. The health packages offered by top Turkey hospital ranges from 70,000 USD to 80,000 USD, which is almost three times less than the Western countries where the cost is as high as 150,000 USD to 500,000 USD in the USA. The hospitals have a dedicated transplant team working in specialized centres to cater to liver transplant patients. The surgeons at these units have a vast clinical experience of several decades and the one-year survival rate goes as high as 90%.

Despite the low prices, the quality of treatment remains at par, if not more, than these countries. The affordable liver transplant cost in Turkey helps patient save a considerable amount of money. 

What happens during a liver transplant operation?

Usually, liver transplants lasts for about six to twelve hours. During the operation, the liver of the patient will be removed and replaced with a donor liver.

As it is major operation, the patient is given general anaesthesia and there will be a significant recovery time. Several tubes will be placed in the patient’s body and other instruments such as ventilators to help the body carry out certain vital functions during the operation.

A catheter will be placed in the bladder of the patient to drain urine. It will be removed after a few days post operation. The tubes in the abdomen help drain blood and fluid from around the liver and will be removed after a week. The anesthesiologist will keep a check on you and the vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level during the surgery.

The steps for liver transplantation – 

  • The skin over the surgical site will be cleaned using a sterile or antiseptic solution.
  • The surgeon will make an incision just under the ribs on both sides of the abdomen, extending for a short distance over the breastbone, to access the liver. 
  • After separating the diseased liver from the surrounding organs and other structures, the attached arteries and veins will be clamped to stop the blood flow into the diseased liver.
  • The blood vessels will be cut off from the organ and the diseased liver will be removed.
  • Before transplanting the new liver in the body, surgeon will check the donor liver to ensure it is viable
  • The donor liver is attached to the blood vessels and the blood flow is directed to the new liver. Once the sutures have been analysed for any bleeding, the new liver will be attached to the bile ducts.
  • After this, the surgeon will close the incision with stitches or surgical staples. A drain will be placed in the incision site to remove the fluid and reduce swelling.
  • The surgeon will place a sterile bandage or dressing over the incision.

Post liver transplant surgery

After the operation, the patient will be in an intensive care unit (ICU) for some time, where the transplant team will observe the patient closely to keep a check on their heart and lung function.

The patient will be shifted to a normal recovery room and regular blood tests will be done to check the new liver. There will also be some tests to assess the functions of kidneys, lungs, and circulatory system.

The antibiotics will start along with anti-rejection medications or immunosuppressants to prevent complications with the new liver. Although, the length of stay in the hospital will depend on many factors, usually a stay of 10 – 14 days will be required for proper healing.

Before the discharge, the transplant team will inform you about the precautions and give instructions about how to take care of yourself after you get home. The team will also schedule a follow-up medical visit with the surgeon.

The doctor will inform when will be the suitable time to return to normal activities. Most patients are able to resume their normal everyday activities, be physically active, and have a normal sex life in a few months (within 4 to 6 weeks). However, the regular medical checkups have to be continued to ensure that the liver is working properly and no other health complication has occurred. It is often recommended for women to wait for at least a year after transplant surgery before getting pregnant.

Risks of liver transplant surgery

Some commonly known complications of a liver transplant surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Liver rejection 
  • Clotting or blockage in the blood vessels to the new liver 
  • Bile leakage or blockage in bile ducts
  • Failure of the new liver for a short time right after surgery

The patient may need to take anti-rejection medication throughout their lifetime. Organ rejection after a transplant takes place when the immune system identifies the new liver as foreign object and attacks it. It can be acute (few days after the surgery) or chronic (happen after months). The anti-rejection medication work by suppressing the immune systems and may make a person more prone to infections. 

It is best to get medical attention if you notice any of the following:

  • Fever: can be a symptom of rejection or infection.
  • Redness, swelling, or bleeding or fluid drainage from the incision area 
  • Pain around the incision site: can be a sign of infection or rejection.
  • Jaundice (the skin and white part of the eyes turn yellow)
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

It is very important to take care of the new liver to enjoy long-term benefits of the transplant. 

There are certain lifestyle and healthy choices that can help protect the new liver:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Take your medication on time and as prescribed
  • Avoid smoke cigarettes
  • Stop drinking alcoholic beverages or use alcohol in cooking if there is a prior history of alcohol abuse.
  • To prevent infections, protect yourself from exposure to germs in soil or other places – by wearing socks, shoes, long-sleeve shirts, and long-pants.
  • Do not keep pets such as rodents, reptiles, and birds.
  • Avoid exposure to sick people or places where there is risk of transmission of diseases, such 
  • While travelling, especially to developing countries, talk to your transplant team prior to making travel plan to discuss the best ways to reduce travel-related risks. Remain up-to-date with your vaccinations, especially if you are visiting certain African countries. 
Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.

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Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.

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