Face Transplant


First, what is "Face Transplant"? A face transplant is an experimental procedure to replace all or part of a person's face. Usually people with faces disfigured by trauma, burns, disease, or birth defects might aesthetically benefit from this procedure.

The alternative to a face transplant is to move the patient's own skin from their back, buttocks or thighs to their face in a series of as many as 50 operations to regain even limited function and a face that is often likened to a mask or a living quilt.

* Surgery Treatment*
The procedure consists of a series of operations requiring rotating teams of specialists. With issues of tissue type, age, sex, and skin color taken into consideration, the patient's face is removed and replaced (including the underlying fat, nerves and blood vessels, but no musculature). The surgery may last anywhere from 8 to 15 hours, followed by a 10–14 day hospital stay.

After the procedure a lifelong regimen of immunosuppressive drugs is necessary to suppress the patient's own immune systems and prevent rejection. Long-term immunosuppression increases the risk of developing life-threatening infections, kidney damage, and cancer. The surgery may result in complications such as infections that could turn the new face black and require a second transplant or reconstruction with skin grafts.

The transplant does not give the patient's face the appearance of the deceased donor's face because the underlying musculature and bones are different. Facial movements are controlled by the brain, so the personality as expressed by the face remains that of the patient.

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