A US plastic surgery team last week performed a full face transplant last week, less than a month after the same hospital performed the first full face transplant in the country.
It is the third face transplant procedure to be performed at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the fourth face transplant in the country.
The team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents worked for more than14 hours to replace the full facial area of patient Mitch Hunter, 30, of Indiana, including the nose, eyelids, lips, muscles of facial animation, and the nerves that power them and provide sensation. Hunter suffered a severe shock from a high voltage electrical wire following a car accident in 2001.
Bohdan Pomahac, MD, BWH plastic surgeon who led the face transplant team says, “I am very grateful to the entire transplant team for working so well together, ensuring that Mitch’s procedure went smoothly and putting him on course for a successful recovery and new life.”
The donor family, who wish to remain anonymous, states, “We are very proud that our beloved son’s wishes were to donate his organs and tissue, helping as many people as possible. We are honored to respect his wishes. When we heard that there was a match for his facial tissue, we were overwhelmed and did not hesitate to say yes. We are so very happy that the transplant is progressing well. It is a gift to us to know that another young man’s life could be so positively changed because of our son’s giving spirit. Though we grieve our loss, we are also joyful that his passing has made this miracle possible,”