Facial transplantation: the first 9 years

Lancet. 2014 Dec 13;384(9960):2153-63. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62632-X. Epub 2014 Apr 27.


Since the first facial transplantation in 2005, 28 have been done worldwide with encouraging immunological, functional, psychological, and aesthetic outcomes. Unlike solid organ transplantation, which is potentially life-saving, facial transplantation is life-changing. This difference has generated ethical concerns about the exposure of otherwise young and healthy individuals to the sequelae of lifelong, high-dose, multidrug immunosuppression. Nevertheless, advances in immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive protocols, microsurgical techniques, and computer-aided surgical planning have enabled broader clinical application of this procedure to patients. Although episodes of acute skin rejection continue to pose a serious threat to face transplant recipients, all cases have been controlled with conventional immunosuppressive regimens, and no cases of chronic rejection have been reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Face / innervation
  • Facial Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Facial Transplantation* / methods
  • Facial Transplantation* / psychology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use


  • Immunosuppressive Agents