First US face transplant took 22 hours

by Liza on Dec. 17th, 2008

OK, not "on this day." A few days ago. Well, two weeks ago, but the BRIEFING was today. Anyway, in a marathon operation lasting 22 hours, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio performed the first face transplant surgery in the United States--replacing 80% of a female patient's face. (This surgery has been done only a few times, and was big news when the world's first face transplant, on Isabelle Dinoire, took place in France in 2006.) More details to come in the next few days.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

Details on the reason for the transplant became available late this afternoon:

"The patient had severe deformity in the middle of her face and was missing her right eye and upper jaw, the Cleveland Clinic doctors said. She could not taste or smell, and she had trouble speaking.

..."Our hope is she should be able to smile again," said Dr. Frank A. Papay, chairman of the Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

With physical therapy, surgeons hope the patient will regain her ability to smell and blink and will have other facial functions."

posted on Wed, 12/17/2008 - 8:53pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

And a few more interesting details from MedPageToday...

posted on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 11:24am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

David Nash, chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, wrote about the ethics of facial transplantation for MedPageToday.

What's the big deal? Well, patients with, say, kidney failure know that, at some point, a transplant is the only thing that will save their life. So it's relatively easy to quantify the risks and the benefits. A facial transplant, though, isn't considered "life-saving." And while, say, a failed hand transplant could be removed, the removal of a failed facial graft might cause death. On the other hand, lack of a face obviously has a huge impact on quality of life. I thought it was an interesting read.

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 9:21pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

An update on the US face transplant patient...

posted on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 11:42pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Connie Culp, who underwent a face transplant at the Cleveland Clinic last December, met the press for the first time yesterday. Her transformation is remarkable.

More photos, and the Associated Press news story

posted on Wed, 05/06/2009 - 10:18am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

More face transplant news: doctors in Spain have just completed the worlds first full face transplant. The patient lost his face in a shooting accident five years ago (and I don't know what that means, but I think we can rest assured that it was horrible), and, in the course of this 22-hour operation, had facial skin, muscles, nose, cheekbones, teeth and jawbone replaced. If you didn't feel weird enough already today, read about the operation in more detail HERE.

posted on Fri, 04/23/2010 - 1:34pm

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