İlknur Yeşil who has been long maintained on treatment for parathyroid insufficiency got healthy again with a novel method that is developed by Professor of Endocrinology Erhan Ayşan from Parathyroid Transplant Clinic of Yeditepe University Hospital. Transfer of parathyroid tissue into the abdominal cavity is approved by International Patent Institute and took part in the literature.

İlknur Yeşil, who is mother of 4 children and resides in Bursa, suffered from parathyroid dysfunction secondary to goiter surgery that she was undergone 18 years ago. She was postoperatively started on intense calcium replacement therapy. Since medications did not help the condition, the young women needed inpatient treatment occasionally and finally, she got healthy again with transfer of parathyroid tissue into the abdominal cavity that was performed to manage fatigue, tiredness and gradual aggravation of muscle contractions.

Stating that 10 thousand thyroid surgeries are carried out per year in Turkey and parathyroid glands, which regulate the calcium homeostasis in the body, may be accidentally removed or damaged in these surgeries, Prof. Erhan Ayşan, M.D., added that İlknur Yeşil is one of these cases. Hypoparathyroidism or decreased function of the parathyroid glands causes certain symptoms, such as fatigue, tiredness and loss of bone that develop over time. Patients may need to take 15 to 20 medicines per day or they need to be, sometimes, infused calcium in intravenous fluids.

The method of transferring parathyroid tissue into the abdominal cavity for this group of patients is developed by Prof. Erhan Ayşan and it is patented. Clarifying that parathyroid cells of a living donor are transferred into an intra-abdominal organ, called omentum, for the first time around the world, Prof. Erhan Ayşan, M.D., says “The patient could stop taking all medications, after the intra-abdominal treatment was performed”.

The method took part in the literature

Professor of Endocrinology Erhan Ayşan from Yeditepe University reminded that the method took place in the literature and added:

“This treatment is performed in the form of injection into a blood vessel in the arm around the world. We have transferred the tissue to an intra-abdominal organ, called omentum, for the first time. Since omentum is supplied blood very well, cells do not exposed to stress and they function easily here. When the cells are transferred there, patients can survive, while they do not need to take pills. M/s. ilknur was a unique transplant case, as the cells of the donor were not processed in the laboratory and they could be transferred with a method that we have developed. Such a procedure is performed for the first time around the world. Since the parathyroid tissues of donors are functioning very well, these people do not suffer from loss of an organ. On the contrary, they also get rid of not only high concentration of calcium in blood, but also the resultant osseous and vascular diseases. In other words, the disease is managed, as the excess tissue is removed, and the deficiency of calcium in the recipient is managed, when the donor tissues are transferred. In other words, the organs that would possibly be wasted salve a problem.

She does not need to take pills that she had to use for 18 years

İlknur Yeşil, the recipient of the transplant surgery, explained the problems she suffered from and the treatment process:

“I was constantly tired and suffering from chronic fatigue. I could not, even, get out of the bed. Moreover, muscle spasms were very severe. Doctors have determined that my parathyroid glands were accidentally removed in my goiter surgery. Therefore, I was postoperatively required to be started on intense calcium replacement therapy. I have been taking calcium supplements for 18 years, but they did not help the complaints in the last year. Therefore, I needed hospitalization and intravenous replacements for numerous times. I am mother of 4 children. This treatment caused real challenges in my daily life. I searched the option of transplantation, as advised by my doctor, and I contacted Prof. Erhan Ayşan, M.D. I got healthy again following a surgery that lasted short. Now, I do not take any pill. I am happy that I can save more time to my family.

Goiter is an Endemic Condition in Turkey

Reminding that 10 thousand thyroid surgeries are carried out per year in Turkey, Prof. Erhan Ayşan, M.D., emphasized that Turkey is a country of goiter endemics. Emphasizing that these surgeries are carried out, as thyroid nodules pose the risk of cancer, Prof. Erhan Ayşan, M.D., says “Unfortunately, parathyroid glands that are located immediately behind the thyroid gland and very small in size can be accidentally damaged or removed in the surgery. Five hundred people develop parathyroid insufficiency every year. This organ is approximately identical to a lentil in size and it is alone responsible for regulating the calcium in blood. It is, therefore, very important. If the patient has no parathyroid gland, calcium cannot be excreted into blood and patients gets so tired that they cannot even raise the arm. Therefore, supplementation is inevitable, if parathyroid glands are removed. These patients need to take medicines lifelong. Normal heart rhythm impairs, if they do not take the pills. If the calcium concentration decreases severely, sudden-onset cardiac arrest and death are likely.

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