Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The face has functional and aesthetic importance. It represents the most identifiable aspect of an individual's physical being. Its role in a person's identity and ability to communicate can therefore not be overstated.
Composite Tissue Allograft Transplantation: Facial Transplantation
To many, the human face defines personhood. When it is devastated beyond the reach of conventional plastic or restorative surgery, a patient may lament both the loss of their appearance and simple functional abilities such as smiling, talking, eating, or breathing on their own. The surgery can integrate many different functional components, such as nose and lower eyelids as well as different tissue types including, skin, muscles, bony structures, arteries veins and nerves. Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic. As of August , around 40 face transplants have been performed worldwide. In , Cleveland Clinic became the first hospital in the United States to perform a near-total face transplant, and remains one of just six U.
Learn more. Since , more than 45 patients have received full or partial face transplants at institutions around the world. Face transplant candidates undergo rigorous physical and psychological screening.
A face transplant is a medical procedure to replace all or part of a person's face using tissue from a donor. Part of a field called "Vascularized Composite Tissue Allotransplantation" VCA it involves the transplantation of facial skin, the nasal structure, the nose, the lips, the muscles of facial movement used for expression, the nerves that provide sensation, and, potentially, the bones that support the face. The recipient of a face transplant will take life-long medications to suppress the immune system and fight off rejection. The world's first partial face transplant on a living human was carried out in France in People with faces disfigured by trauma , burns , disease, or birth defects might aesthetically benefit from the procedure.