Full face transplant: The first case report

Juan P. Barret, Joan Gavaldà, Javier Bueno, Xavier Nuvials, Teresa Pont, Nuria Masnou, Maria J. Colomina, Jordi Serracanta, Anna Arno, Pere Huguet, Jose M. Collado, Pere Salamero, Carlos Moreno, Roser Deulofeu, Vicenç Martínez-Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Since 2005, 11 human face transplants have been performed. In each, varying amounts of tissue have been transplanted. Herein we report a "full" face transplant including all intact aesthetic and functional units. Methods: On March 27, 2010, we performed a full face transplant, including all the soft tissues and part of the underlaying bony structure, at the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain. The donor was a 41-year-old male, who died from a massive brain hemorrhage. The recipient was a 30-year-old male with a severe facial deformity caused by a ballistic trauma in 2005. Harvest and subsequent implant took 24 hours. The patient received initial induction (Thymoglobulin 2 mg/kg/iv; Prednisone 1 gm/iv) and maintenance (Prednisone 1 mg/kg/24hours, Tacrolimus 10-15 ng/mL/PO, and Mycophenolate mofetil 2g/daily/PO) immunosuppression and Infection prophylaxis (Valganciclovir and Co-trimoxazole). Results: There were no intraoperative complications. Postoperative complications included; venous anastomoses thrombosis, acute oro-cutaneous fistula, right parotid sialocele and 2 acute rejection episodes, which were resolved by revision of the anastomosis, profuse irrigation and immunotherapy adjustment, respectively. The patient was discharged from the hospital at 4 months posttransplant with; near-total sensation and partial-motor recovery, no psychological complications and excellent acceptance of his new facial appearance. Conclusions: The early success described in this case report demonstrates the technical and clinical feasibility of transplanting all the tissues of the with all its aesthetic and functional units intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


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