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article imageSecond successful face transplant performed at Cleveland Clinic

By Nicole Weddington     Nov 22, 2014 in Health
Cleveland - The Cleveland Clinic has successfully transplanted 90 percent of an automobile accident victim’s face. The announcement came via twitter and then details of the 24 and a half hour long procedure were posted on the Clinic’s website.
The team of twelve surgeons and dozens of support staff transplanted skin, bone, nerves and muscle.
Although the patients name and personal information has not been released, he said in a news release, “I am grateful beyond words to the donor and his family for their amazing gift. I thank the Lord for the strength he's given all of us to carry us through this, because we couldn't do this on our own. I would like to thank the Cleveland Clinic – all the surgeons and staff who helped me, so many talented hands helping me in so many ways.”
This is the second time that the Cleveland Clinic has performed the difficult procedure. The first time, in December 2008, was also for an automobile accident victim. Connie Culp, the first patient, had 80 percent of her face transplanted.
The patient was chosen for the procedure after multiple attempts at facial reconstruction had not achieved the desired results. Eight of the procedures were performed by the pain clinic. Although the injuries to the second victim were more severe, the doctors were also able to save the sight in one eye.
“He had lost one eye, and the one remaining eye had impending visual loss,” said Dr. Francis Papay, leader of the surgical team and chairman of the Dermatology and Plastic Surgeon Institute at Cleveland Clinic to the Plain Dealer. He was joined by Dr. Maria Siemionow, former director of the Clinic’s Department of Plastic Surgery Research and the lead surgeon on the Culp procedure. Dr. Siemionow is currently at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Medicine.
The patient is doing well, according to Dr. Papay, but the clinic is monitoring him for signs of tissue rejection. He could be released within a month.
“He's doing great,” Dr. Papay said. "He's undergoing physical therapy, he's walking, eating, speaking wonderfully. He wants to go home.”
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