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Thread: Woman has first face transplant

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    Woman has first face transplant

    Woman has first face transplant

    Surgeons in France have carried out the first face transplant, it has been reported.


    The woman had lost her nose, lips and chin after being savaged by a dog.

    In the controversial operation, tissues, muscles, arteries and veins were taken from a brain-dead donor and attached to the patient's lower face.

    Doctors stress the woman will not look like her donor, but nor will she look like she did before the attack - instead she will have a "hybrid" face.

    It has been technically possible to carry out such a transplant for some years, with teams in the US, the UK and France researching the procedure.

    Skin from another person's face is better for transplants as it will be a better match than skin from another part of the patient's body, which could have a different texture or colour.

    But the ethical concerns of a face transplant, and the psychological impact to the patient of looking different has held teams back.

    Concerns relating to immunosuppression, psychological impact and the consequence of technical failure have so far prevented ethical approval of the procedure in the UK, though doctors here are fully able to perform transplants.

    'Gravely disfigured'


    The 38-year-old French patient from the northern French town of Valenciennes underwent extensive counselling before her operation, which is believed to have lasted at least five hours, and which took place at the weekend at a hospital in Amiens.

    The French magazine Le Point reports that the tissues, muscles, arteries and veins needed for the transplant were taken from a multi-organ donor in the northern city of Lille, who was brain-dead.

    The operations were carried out by a team led by Professor Bernard Devauchelle and Professor Jean Michel Dubernard.

    In a statement, the hospital said the woman had been gravely disfigured in the attack in May this year.

    She has been unable to speak or eat properly since.

    It added that the woman - who wishes to remain anonymous - was in "excellent general health" and said the graft looked normal.

    Live donors

    Like any other transplant patient, the woman will have to take immunosuppressant drugs to help her body cope with the donated tissue.

    Doctors working in the field say many could benefit from the procedure, including 10,000 burns victims in the UK.

    Iain Hutchison, an oral-facial surgeon at Barts and the London Hospital, said: "This is the first face transplant using skin from another person."

    But there are medical, and ethical, concerns of facial transplants.

    Mr Hutchison, who is chief executive of Saving Faces - the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, warned blood vessels in the donated tissue could clot, the immunosuppressants could fail - and would increase the patient's risk of cancer."

    Mr Hutchison added there were ethical and moral issues around donating facial tissue.

    "Where donors would come from is one issue that would have to be considered.

    "The transplant would have to come from a beating heart donor. So, say your sister was in intensive care, you would have to agree to allow their face to be removed before the ventilator was switched off.

    "And there is the possibility that the donor would then carry on breathing."

    Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society's ethics committee, said: "The extent of facial expression which will occur in the long term is unknown.

    "The skin tends to promote rejection by the immune system very strongly and immunosuppression is likely to need to be kept at high levels for prolonged periods of time.

    "It is not clear whether an individual could be left worse off in the event that a face transplant failed."

    Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon's facial transplantation working party, said: "If successful, this is a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction.

    "It appears that this has been a partial face transplant incorporating the nose and lips; therefore issues relating to similarity in appearance between donor and recipient are unlikely to be a major problem.

    "We wish the patient and the team a successful outcome and look forward to learning more about the details of the procedure which could be a major step forward for the facially disfigured."



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    Lík börn leika best.

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    I think this advancement is wonderful.
    Certain 'experts' have expressed disquiet over the psychological ramifications for the patient, but surely these are negligable, compared to facing (no pun intended) a lifetime of horrible disfigurement.

    We can claim to be as civilised as we like, but I know I for one, have a dark fascination/horror when I pass any poor individual on the street with terrible disfigurement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Storm
    I think this advancement is wonderful.
    Certain 'experts' have expressed disquiet over the psychological ramifications for the patient, but surely these are negligable, compared to facing (no pun intended) a lifetime of horrible disfigurement.

    We can claim to be as civilised as we like, but I know I for one, have a dark fascination/horror when I pass any poor individual on the street with terrible disfigurement.
    I know I may sound like a hypocrit now when it comes to advancements in science, but this is one area I agree on. To help others who have been unfortunately disfigured or disabled is great. It helps the economy too possibly by giving these individuals a reason to live and be productive

    Unfortunately, here in the US, organ and tissue donation is not what I would call up to "par". Giving livers to alcoholics and hearts and lungs to smokers and drug users is something that I have seen and dealt with first hand as a heart nurse too often. I would not give one ounce of blood either since the majority of donations go to sickle cell patients. It is a nice thought, I just wish it was done RIGHT...as Evergreen said...I have no hope for humanity...
    "I can stop trying to discover shortcuts or easy answers to why I feel dissatisfied at times. I am the only one who can make changes, right here and now."
    Dr William Brown

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    Mind you, once the Multi Kulti Brethren get wind of this, you'd better watch out.
    How would you feel Freya3, if, after suffering the trauma of a vicious pit bull attack, you were to wake up days later as a nervous looking nurse unwraps your bandages and swivels your wheelchair to the mirror... you open your sore eyes, and there you are... a kind of uglier version of Oprah Winfrey! :eek

    For the rest of your life!! :eek :eek :eek

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    Knowing my luck, that would be what would happen I probably would be better off as a mamed white woman(at least I feel that way)...

    But as luck would have it, I had a 43 year old man tonight @ work awaiting a liver transplant. And can you believe it, he is a alcoholic and X-IV drug user(but is on methadone 4 times a day). Isn't organ donation a great thing:
    "I can stop trying to discover shortcuts or easy answers to why I feel dissatisfied at times. I am the only one who can make changes, right here and now."
    Dr William Brown

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    They can just about forget about my liver... : #

    (Besides I'll need it in Valhalla anyhow... )
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Once again, Frenchmen have proven their genius.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.

    « -Oh my God, but you're a neo-nazi?!...
    -But why neo? »

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    I read in a newspaper a while ago...that this woman wasn't 'attacked' by a dog...it was in fact, her dog trying to wake her up from a drug overdose! eyes:

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