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SCI/TECH: Doctor Pushes for First Face Transplant

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posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 02:05 PM
Dr. Maria Siemionow has been in training to perform the first human face transplant for years. She has performed the surgery successfully many times on animals such as raccoons and rats. Now, she feels she is ready and is looking for the ideal candidate.
In the next few weeks, five men and seven women will secretly visit the Cleveland Clinic to interview for the chance to have a radical operation that's never been tried anywhere in the world.

They will smile, raise their eyebrows, close their eyes, open their mouths. Dr. Maria Siemionow will study their cheekbones, lips and noses. She will ask what they hope to gain and what they most fear.

Then she will ask, "Are you afraid that you will look like another person?"

Because whoever she chooses will endure the ultimate identity crisis.

Siemionow wants to attempt a face transplant.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

As the below links show, a face transplant has been possible for some years now, but ethical concerns have prevented such surgery from being performed. Dr. Siemionow feels that the time to move in now. The risks are great, from infection, tissue rejection, drug side-effects, to identity crises, but there are willing candidates. Choosing the right one seems to be the greatest challenge of all.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 02:47 PM
WTF?! This has to be a hoax.

What the hell is the medical benefit of such an operation supposed to be? Did somebody watch Face Off too many times? Anyone who would volunteer for this would have to have some serious mental issues, and they will have many more after they have to deal with a new face, or their body rejects the tissue and their new face falls off. And I thought Micheal Jackson was disturbed...

And to think, there are so many medical breakthroughs yet to be made that could save countless lives, and all this money gets spent on researching how to transplant faces. whatever happened to wanting to cure diabetes?

[edit on 2005-9-17 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 03:09 PM
Severe facial burns would be a good reason for this, or other severe facial deformities.
As long as criminals don't use it, why not help the disfigured.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 03:38 PM
Well, it would certainly add an interesting dimension to the "I woke up in the bathtub missing a kidney" stories/urban myths.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM

Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
WTF?! This has to be a hoax.

What the hell is the medical benefit of such an operation supposed to be? Did somebody watch Face Off too many times?

I always hope that people will read the accompanying link to the articles I post, but for those who don't:

This is no extreme TV makeover. It is a medical frontier being explored by a doctor who wants the public to understand what she is trying to do.

It is this: to give people horribly disfigured by burns, accidents or other tragedies a chance at a new life. Today's best treatments still leave many of them with freakish, scar-tissue masks that don't look or move like natural skin.

These people already have lost the sense of identity that is linked to the face; the transplant is merely "taking a skin envelope" and slipping their identity inside, Siemionow contends.

Her supporters note her experience, careful planning, the team of experts assembled to help her, and the practice she has done on animals and dozens of cadavers to perfect the technique.

But her critics say the operation is way too risky for something that is not a matter of life or death, as organ transplants are. They paint the frighteningly surreal image of a worst-case scenario: a transplanted face being rejected and sloughing away, leaving the patient worse off than before.


[edit on 2005/9/17 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 05:14 PM
Oh could transplant my face and everyone could look like me. :O

The world would be such a better place.

Now aside from the jokes.

The point of it, is for people with burns that can't be cured any other way and that sort of thing. I remember Channel 4 [UK] did a show on the woman a year or so ago.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 05:32 PM
The news links and discussion thread links are backwards.

This is what I find freaky:

Your face will be removed and replaced with one donated from a cadaver, matched for tissue type, age, sex and skin color. Surgery should last 8 to 10 hours; the hospital stay, 10 to 14 days.



posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 05:37 PM
great new technology for burn victims and facial disfigurements.
technology is going star trek now yay

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 05:39 PM

Originally posted by Zipdot
The news links and discussion thread links are backwards.

Whoops! Maybe a mod can fix the problem, but I think most will be able to figure it out.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 05:53 PM
This technology will be rendered obsolete if the Fetal Liver cell regeneration technique pans out in humans. All the Surgeons would need to do is remove as much of the scar tissue as possible and it should in theory regenerate back to full health.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 06:01 PM

"We have experimented with amputating or damaging several different organs, such as the heart, toes, tail and ears, and just watched them regrow," she said.

"It is quite remarkable. The only organ that did not grow back was the brain.

The Australian

As miraculous as this technology is, alas, the organ most of could use a new model of is unaffected.

posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 01:28 AM
That is extraordinarily interesting. The spiritual implications of the failure to regrow the brain are substantial.


posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 01:41 AM
Speaking from a medical standpoint it is indeed possible. I have taken care of a few kids in my 10+ years as an ICU nurse were as part of a medical procedure, they actually peeled off the face to acess the cranial structures underneath for various operations. The results worked well.

However, the risks of rejection would be great and where in the heck would you find a family willing to donate the face of a loved one? Kidneys, liver, heart, lungs etc sure but a face?

posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 01:53 AM
I watched one of those operations once on the "surgery channel" or some such a few years ago. It was pretty gross, to be sure, to see the face lose the shape provided by the skeletal structure, but, as I recall the results were impressive.

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