Thursday, December 18, 2008
The real FACEOFF, in hopes to help a person face the world with a brighter smile
Reported this past week a severely disfigured woman underwent the first near-total face transplant in the United States, the fourth in the world. Facial transplants have only been performed in France and China in the past three years. This facial surgery took 22 hours to complete and was performed by a team of 8 surgeons about 2 weeks ago at the Cleveland Clinic. We are pleased to see that the lead surgeon is a female plastic surgeon, Dr. Maria Siemionow, who has been organizing and researching this day for years prior to the operation (pictured in the middle in the photo above in surgical loupes). The patient was severely disfigured as the middle of her face was deformed, also missing her right eye and upper jaw. This woman could not taste nor smell and also had some trouble speaking. This woman is currently being treated at the Cleveland Clinic, recovering from having 80% of her face transplanted. This woman received upper jaw, nose, and facial tissue from a female cadaver, as her forehead and chin were left intact. " In this transplant, tissue from the donor's face was shaped and fitted into position. Multiple layers of tissue, bone, muscles and blood vessels, nerve grafts and each artery and vein were connected." So far, the patient is said to be doing well in recovery and showing no signs of rejecting the donor's tissue (the patient's name and age remain confidential for now as she is closely monitored by her team of doctors).