The recent clinical cases of hand and composite tissue allotransplantation opened a new era in the practice of reconstructive surgery. Some have suggested that face (allo) transplantation could be the next step to benefit patients whose conditions cannot be addressed by conventional techniques of reconstructive surgery using autologous tissues. This article reviews the current status of science regarding the prospect of human face transplantation. The main issues fall into three categories: (1) the surgical challenge of the procedure, specifically regarding vascular viability and functional recovery of the graft; (2) the risks of side effects from life-long immunosuppression necessary to prevent graft rejection; and (3) the ethical debate and the effects of the procedure on the population. Although face transplantation could one day be performed and extend the boundaries of reconstructive surgery, there are currently many obstacles that need to be overcome first.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Plastic and reconstructive surgery|
|State||Published - Apr 15 2004|
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