■French surgeon performs full face transplant
Dr. Laurent Lantieri, a surgeon at Henri-Mondor hospital in Creteil, France, performed a full face transplant on a 35-year-old man with neurofibromatosis. "The most difficult part of the operation was to connect the tear duct that goes through the bone," Lantieri said. The procedure could eventually be used to help burn victims.
Facial transplantation for severe deformities of the face related to accidents and injuries, burns, dog bites, cancer and congenital deformities will become more common in the future. The first partial facial transplant in the U.S. was performed at the Cleveland Clinic. Micro-vascular surgery and immune modulation have advanced to a high level, which makes these procedures more feasible. This is an exciting new field in plastic and reconstructive surgery, but there are still many ethical issues to address in these cases.