The center saw Turkey’s first successful double limb transplant and facial transplant this year, operations that Dr. Tuncer Karpuzoglu says has earned the facility widespread recognition from the international medical community.
The center’s beginning was far humbler, however. Speaking to the Anatolia news agency on Monday, founder of the Dr. Tuncer Karpuzoğlu Organ Transplant Center Dr. Karpuzoğlu said he decided to open the center in Antalya in the early ‘80s after performing 18 organ transplants in Ankara.
Dr. Karpuzoğlu performed the first kidney transplant at the Akdeniz University’s Antalya Medical Faculty Hospital in 1982, an operation which showed that hospitals outside of Ankara could develop the facilities and staff to deal with the difficult operation.
“If I had not done the organ transplant then, organ transplants at Akdeniz University would have begun perhaps a decade later. We struggled against difficulties and brought food to the patient from our home. We waited in the patient’s room for 24 hours and helped our patient recover,” Dr. Karpuzoğlu said. Though during those early years the center only had a few assistants, today “we have become a major center for transplants,” Dr. Karpuğoglu stated. Seventy-four-year-old Dr. Karpuzoğlu said he expects to see the center become “one of the best in both Turkey and Europe.”