Face allotransplantation and burns: A review

Anna Arno, J. P. Barret, Rachael A. Harrison, Marc G. Jeschke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Burns may represent one of the main indications for face allotransplantation. Severely disfigured faces featuring a devastating appearance and great functional impairments are not only seen as burn sequelae but also occur as a result of other traumatic injuries, oncological surgical resections, benign tumors (eg, neurofibromatosis), and major congenital malformations. To date, 20 human face composite tissue allotransplants have been performed with success. Despite the initial scepticism about its applicability, due mainly to ethical and technical reasons, the previous worldwide cases and their associated positive outcomes, including acceptable immunosuppressive regimens, excellent aesthetic and functional results, and good psychological acceptance by the recipient, enable the conclusion that face composite tissue allotransplantation has become another therapeutic strategy in the reconstructive surgical armamentarium, which bears special consideration when dealing with severely disfigured burned patients. The aim of this review is to describe the basics of face composite tissue allotransplantation and give an overview of some of the cases performed until now, with special attention paid to debating the pros and cons of its applicability in burn patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)561-576
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


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