Face Transplant



Samet Öztürk (20), who had difficulty in eating and talking because of the tumor that appeared in the jaw bone and completely covered the left side of his face, gained health with bone and tissue transplantation taken from his leg in our Plastic Surgery Clinic in Ankara City Hospital.

Samet Öztürk, a 20-year-old man who had difficulty in eating and talking because of a tumor that appeared in the jaw bone and whose weight reached half a kilogram, got a new face with a bone and tissue transplant taken from his leg.

The life of our patient Samet Öztürk, who lives in Aydın, has turned into a nightmare after a dental condition. Öztürk, who dreamed of becoming a footballer, did not go out of the house and could not look in the mirrors for two years. Samet Öztürk, who applied to the Plastic Surgery Clinic of our Ankara City Hospital, got a new face with the 8-hour operation of Prof. Dr. Ramazan Erkin Ünlü, op. Dr. Burak Yaşar and Op. Dr. Hasan Murat Ergani, which is candidate to enter the literature and made peace with the mirrors.



Öztürk, who left his health problems behind after a difficult operation, talked about his experiences. Öztürk explained that health problems started after the operation of a buried tooth in the last year of high school. “The piece from my tooth was sent to a biopsy and it turned out that there was a tumor. Then drug treatment was applied for a while. Then they directed me to plastic surgery to have an operation. I went to various hospitals in İzmir, Antalya, Eskişehir and Ankara. They did not want to do it because the operation had high risks.”,he said. Expressing that he had been suffering from the disease for two years, Öztürk said that with the growth of the tumor, a large swelling occurred on the left side of his face. Explaining that the tumor on his face reached half a kilogram weight and a size of 10 centimeters, Öztürk stated that the doctors undertook a very good repair in his face operation.

Stating that the growth of the tumor on his face affects his psychologically very negatively, Öztürk said, "I could not go out to the street. I was away from my friend environment. I started not to leave the house. I gave myself to computer games. I couldn't see myself when I looked in the mirror. I was a football player, it affected my whole life. " Öztürk stated that he was very happy to see the swelling on his face was down when he first looked in the mirror after the operation, "The bone taken from my leg was shaped and placed on my face. I have been separated from football I missed for two years. I want to return to football." he said.



Our administrative and education supervisor of plastic surgery clinic in Ankara City Hospital Prof. Dr. Ramazan Erkin Unlu pointed out that one of the most significant characteristic of this operation is that such a case as grand as this one is really seen rare in our literature. 

Ünlü underlined that the cancer spreading from the jaw bone is normally trapped within the bone or expands the bone, and said , "Unlike in this case, the cancer in the bone spreaded to the entire face of our patient. There was a serious spread especially from the bottom of the eye and chin to the neck. We have not seen such cancer spread so far. Our patient applied to health institutions in various centers and cities before us, but did not get any results from them. Because operating such a case can cause trouble for the patient afterwards.”

Ünlü explained that they planned the operation when the patient applies to them and after performing the examinations that are necessary, he continued as follows:

“The important issue here is; together with a mass of this size, we took half of the face and created a face to our patient anew. When clearing this mass, the nerves that included the facial, chewing and speaking functions of the patient, which we call the facial nerve, was passing through this mass. We cleaned them up. After all, in such a large case, we made a transplant from the patient's own tissue, especially the bone in his leg and the soft tissue there. We signed such a case without any functional problems or paralysis due to facial nerve. The fact that such a big mass was successfully removed and the adaptation of our patient’s to the new face was very good and made us both the patient and us very happy.

The operation took 8 hours. In the first place we removed the mass. We didn't hurt the patient’s nerves. The patient was able to laugh and speak. Although we took his muscles, he never had any problems. It was smoothly as if it were a very simple operation. In fact, it was a huge operation. The patient searched for a hospital where he could be treated for a long time. It is a chance for both him and us that he came to our hospital. By treating such a big case during the pandemic period, we showed our public that such good things could be done. After taking such a mass, it could have been a facial paralysis.”



Op. Dr. Burak Yaşar emphasized that a very large operation was performed with its stages before and after, and said:

“One of the factors that make this surgery successful is the three-dimensional surgical planning we perform before surgery. In this way, when the mass of the patient was removed, the tissue we transplanted to it transplanted more coherently since it was previously planned in three dimensions. We can evaluate the tomography results of the patient in three dimensions and plan it in advance as we will transplant, so as to ensure the symmetry of the face. This planning can give good results like this when done before surgery.

Dr. Hasan Ergani, who is in the surgical team, pointed out that the patient's tumor started under the eye and extended to the collarbone in his neck and said, "It was a mass that reached a weight of about half a kilogram. It caused negativities in the neck movements, facial movements and chewing of the patient. By planning this mass in three dimensions, we built the new jaw in that area without removing the bone from the vein. Then, when we separated the bone in that area together with its vein and transferred it to the vessels in the neck, the new face of our patient was formed.

  • 20200706_130020.jpg
  • 20200706_130914(0).jpg
  • 20200706_130938(0).jpg
  • 20200706_130543.jpg
  • 20200706_130559.jpg
  • 20200706_124124(0).jpg
  • 20200706_124002.jpg
  • TÜRKİYE_20200708_1.jpeg
  • TÜRKİYE_20200708_1 (1).jpeg
  • SABAH+ANKARA_20200708_1 (1).jpeg
  • SABAH+ANKARA_20200708_1.jpeg
  • POSTA_20200708_1.jpeg