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First Successful Jaw Transplant in Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ankara- A Turkish medical team has conducted the first-of-its-kind successful surgery to transplant an artificial jawbone for a Syrian citizen who came to Turkey for treatment, after he was wounded in an air strike over Aleppo.

The Syrian citizen Mohammad al-Jaber has become able to talk normally, after the medical team transplanted parts of his lower jawbone in cooperation with specialized engineers. This surgery was the first-of-its-kind in the world to transplant parts of a partly damaged jawbone.

Jaber, 32, underwent many surgeries at the Ankara Numune Hospital in cooperation with the Gulhane Center for design and medical manufacture of the Turkish University of Medical Sciences.

The joint medical-engineering team who cooperated to design the artificial jawbone that fits the injured man have used titanium and the 3D printing technique to make it, so Jaber can heal and speak 15 days after the operation.

Dr. Ramadan Erkin Onlu who conducted the surgery told Anadolu Agency that when the Syrian citizen arrived in the hospital, he was deprived from his lower jaw and lips. He wasn’t able to eat or speak, and his wounds were infected.

The doctor pointed out that the medical team started by treating infections and then moved to design an artificial jawbone.

The mission wasn’t easy, because many parts of the patient’s original jaw were still existing, and thus, a special jawbone was designed to complete the remaining parts.

Dr. Onlu added that the team’s members reviewed all the jawbone transplant surgeries in the world and found that the operation they conducted was the first-of-its-kind, as they designed only parts for the damaged organ.

He also revealed that muscles and tissues from the patient’s chest and shoulder were transplanted in his jaw, and that his healing was faster than they expected.

Two weeks after the surgery, the Syrian citizen has become able to move his jaw and speak clearly, while commonly, patients with similar cases, cannot move their jaws shortly after undergoing a surgery to transplant muscles and tissues.

For her part, Gulhana Center’s manager explained the steps made to design and manufacture the artificial jaw. She said that the joint team adopted a 3D scheme that suited the size of the patient’s damaged organ and applied a primary plastic prototype.

After getting the approval of the doctor, they produced the final organ from titanium, as this substance does not cause harm, and can live longer with the patient without being affected by any factors that oblige him to replace it.