Spanish Plastic Surgeons Perform First Full Face Transplant
Posted Apr 25 2010 4:25am
Plastic surgeons in Spain have recently performed the first full face transplant on a farmer who had most of his face destroyed by a gunshot wound. The surgery took 22 hours and employed a team of over 30 doctors, nurses, and technicians.
According to an article The technique involved removing what was left of the man's face and giving him a replacement "in one piece." By the means of plastic reconstructive surgery and microsurgery of blood vessels. , the doctors transplanted the entire face apart from the tongue and eyeballs onto the man. The unnamed farmer now boasts of a brand new face from his hairline down. The only one scar he has runs across his neck, which looks like a wrinkle. "The operation was carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Dr Joan Pere Barret, performing the transplant of the entire facial skin and muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones, and the mandible by means of plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques." Experts took care to ensure that the patient's new face resembled the one he had before the accident and did not have any likeness to that of the anonymous donor. According to Barret, his new face will be reminiscent of both.
Amazing stuff. It's stories like this that make me proud to be a plastic surgeon. I am humbled by the skill of plastic surgeons like Dr. Barret and all of the surgeons who have contributed to the advancement of our specialty, both reconstructive and cosmetic.