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.