Leading the team that recently performed America’s second partial face transplants, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac explained that the seventeen hour operation had gone well.
The male patient, who had not yet seen the results, now needs to recover and start to heal.
Speaking at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where the two operating rooms worked side by side, Pomahac noted that although the patient’s lack of facial body structure did not pose a threat to his life, it would have been extremely difficult.
The adjoining rooms were used for the donor and the actual patient himself. It took over six hours to remove muscles and tissue from the perfectly matched donor. This was then connected to the recipient by a team of experienced surgeons using microscopic equipment.
Although the donor’s whole face was implanted, the beneficiary will not actually take on the same appearance. More than likely, he will actually look very similar to what he did before his accident.
The first twenty four hours after the operation are seen as crucial as this is when infection and clotting in the vessels could occur. Pomahac continued that immuno-suppression could occur up to ten days after the surgery.
All the risks involved with this cutting edge field were told to the patient, who was also assessed by various psychiatrists.
Last year a woman received a nearly whole new face in Cleveland, Ohio and within a matter of months, she was able to eat solid food and breathe normally.
The family of the donor in the Boston case is hopeful that other families would follow their lead and offer similar opportunities in the future.