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Face transplants inch toward reality (Update 11 / 1 / 04) It's happening !

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posted on May, 26 2004 @ 09:12 PM
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University of Louisville doctors to seek ethics review of surgery

(CNN) -- Doctors in Kentucky have begun preparing a document to be submitted to an ethics panel at the University of Louisville School of Medicine seeking permission to perform a face transplant, the lead researcher in the endeavor told CNN.

"We are in the process of doing that," Dr. John Barker, director of plastic surgery research at the University of Louisville, said Tuesday. "We have a team of about 16 or 17 people."

The radical procedure, intended for patients with severe disfigurement, has not been attempted before, though doctors in the past have successfully reattached faces to patients after accidents.

The development was first reported in the May 29 issue of New Scientist magazine.

www.cnn.com...

The operation could offer new hope for those who suffer severe burns, cancer or gunshot wounds. The surgery will attach facial tissue and blood vessels from a cadaver to a new patient.

The transplant also brings a lifetime dependence on expensive immuno-suppressant drugs to block rejection of the new tissue.

The novel procedure would require approval not only from the Louisville school's board but also from a sister institution's -- Western Kentucky University -- "to make certain all questions are asked and addressed," said Kathy Keadle, director of communications and marketing for the Louisville school's health sciences center.

Surgical teams in Britain, France and Cleveland, Ohio, are also considering performing such an operation, but Barker said he would not predict when his team would carry out the procedure.

So Fellow ATSers, what's your opinion on this ?

Picture it, you have a deceased realative that died of natural causes, a week or two after the funeral, you're walking down the street, or even in another city on vacation or something and you look up and see your relatives face, how would you react ?

Also, what about the patient, even if they are already scarred or disfigured, that person remembers what they looked like, how would seeing someone elses face on them affect them ?



[edit on 1-11-2004 by elevatedone]

[edit on 1-11-2004 by elevatedone]




posted on May, 26 2004 @ 09:19 PM
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I actually think this would be wonderful in many situations. People whose faces are scared for life, through burning or what not, it will save them so much pain. For example, Vanilla Sky. Having your face disfigured would no longer be an incurable handicap.

Now before you get upset by me refering to a disfigured face being a handicap, how many people do you work with with burned faces? How many sales people do you see with a disfigured face? And finally this question, which I don't want anyone to answer on the board but rather just to themselves (If you don't toot your own horn online, you may answer to yourself honestly), what would your initial reaction be to someone whose nose was cut off in an accident? Or they had no ears, or their face is an entire scar from a fire when they were a child? If you know any people like this, ask them what they go through every day of their lives. If anyone here on ATS is like that, tell us your story. Tell us why you would love to have something like this, to stop the stares, the whispers, the questions from children who don't know they're supposed to ostracize you, not ask you about your condition.

This will be a wonderful thing to have for those who are disabled through facial scaring.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 04:27 AM
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Originally posted by elevatedone
Picture it, you have a deceased realative that died of natural causes, a week or two after the funeral, you're walking down the street, or even in another city on vacation or something and you look up and see your relatives face, how would you react ?


This situation would horrify me. There are many issues this would raise, not least of how soon the face would need to be removed from the body. How could any grieving relative tollerate this immediately following death of a loved one?

If medicine is so far advanced, why not wait for the next logical step of a face being grown from the disfigured persons own cells for the transplant? We can already grow new tissue for grafts, so this must be the next logical progression, and would save a fortune in immuno-suppressant drugs.

What would be the pshycholocical effects of walking around with a dead person's face? I feel sure the disfigured person would rather have an altered version of their own face. We've all seen how likenesses can be made from skulls. All we need now are surgeons will the same skills and the technology to allow them to rebuild faces in the same way.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 01:17 PM
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Due to the fact that no one's skull and facial bones are the same, it's extremley unlikely the dead person's face would look like the person who recieved the transplant. I think it's a fine idea.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 04:38 PM
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It would be cool to have, instead of a transplant, for a person to have them grow face tissue from thier own cells. However, everyone is against stem cell research. Cloning is playing god and make him smite us.

Religion and "ethics" are getting in the way of science.

enthetic

[Edited on 30-5-2004 by Qraz A.K.A. MIlfort]



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 08:00 PM
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This new procedure will be a great treatmet for people with disfigurement and facial anormalities. This society treat people on looks and had standard on what they consider normal I doubt that people will see loves one faces of other people around after death.



posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 01:52 AM
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"Religion and "ethics" are getting in the way of science.
Hear Hear!!!!!!!



posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 03:19 AM
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Cool, I want one of you to have my face when I die. I will put it on eBay to the highest bidder. Very few scars, I have nice lips and fabulous inner eye lids. Keep the mustache if you like or shave it off, it is up to you. Satisfaction gauranteed.


Nutzo



posted on Jun, 24 2004 @ 03:21 AM
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For those in uk, this is the subject of a program on Channel 4 at 2100 today.


Human Face Transplant: An Equinox Special. As surgeons in America suggest that they are ready to transplant a dead person's face onto a living human patient, this programme addresses some of the surgical and moral issues connected with the process.



posted on Jun, 24 2004 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by nutzobalzo
Cool, I want one of you to have my face when I die. I will put it on eBay to the highest bidder.


Funny you should say that! We (friends) were talking about this the other day and one of them said, yeah right, once the doctors get this done, it will only be a matter of time before someone trys to sell thiers ( face ) on ebay.

Ewwww, what if there were stores... you know like the hair replacement type, and wigs... see ya later hun, I'm going to the "new face store", so don't panic when I get home and come in looking like someone else.



posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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I agree with Sterling46. Stretching the new face across a different bone structure, muscle structure, tooth configuration, subcutaneous fat layer, eyes, as well as a different body chemisty's effect on skin tone and such, would probably make the person look significantly different from the donor. Even the recipient's mannerisms and expressions would help instantly "change" the donor face. Seems like it would be extremely difficult for the family of the donor to agree to the procedure, however, especially in social groups where open-casket funerals are still the norm.

Personally, I think it would be much more disconcerting to see someone who had received an eye transplant of a loved one.



posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 11:55 PM
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I definitely would not want one of my deceased loved ones face on another person! I couldn't imagine losing someone close to me, only to see them walking down the street. I'm a stable man emotionally, but I do not want to think about the emotional distress and possible reactions of those who are not so stable themselves!


Now, I'm not against this idea either.

My suggestion would be to transplant the faces of the deceased who have no loved ones.

And who is to say the face you get is not of someone who has enemies ? I believe the process (if there is going to be one) for selecting faces to transplant, be very in depth in regards to what kind of life the donor led.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:01 AM
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I don't think a persons appearance would be radically changed, as the bone struture is what someone really looks like anyway but if you are into organ donation, why not the largest organ that the body contains? Or contains the body, so to speak.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by nerpish

My suggestion would be to transplant the faces of the deceased who have no loved ones.

And who is to say the face you get is not of someone who has enemies ? I believe the process (if there is going to be one) for selecting faces to transplant, be very in depth in regards to what kind of life the donor led.



Oh my goodness! This is sooo disturbing! Could there be that large a pool of qualifying people with no parents, no siblings, no significant others, no friends, and yet who have no enemies, who are "card-carrying approved face donors!!? I certainly understand your point about careful screening, nerpish, but I just hope for our world's sake that we don't have THAT many alienated people!



posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 01:40 PM
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Cleveland Clinic plans first facial transplant


CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- The Cleveland Clinic says it is the first institution to receive review board approval of human facial transplant for someone severely disfigured by burns or disease.

Several independent medical teams around the world also are pursuing the procedure. The Cleveland Clinic said its approval on October 15 followed 10 months of debate on medical, ethical and psychological issues.

It has no current patients or donors for the procedure.

www.cnn.com...

"We are at this point ready to begin screening patients," said Dr. Maria Siemionow, the hospital's director of plastic surgery research and training in microscopic surgery, who advocated the procedure.

Doctors at the clinic said finding an appropriate donor cadaver for the facial skin and underlying tissue might be more difficult than choosing a patient, which could take up to two years.

"It may not happen in our life, or it may happen sooner than you expect," Siemionow said.

She said she will tell patients there is as much as a 50 percent chance of failure because of tissue rejection or other complications.

Siemionow said she wants to start with a relatively simple procedure that would involve transplanting only the skin and underlying fat. The patient's own muscles shape the face, so the patient would not take on the appearance of the donor, she said.



posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 03:50 PM
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I work in plastic surgery, and can tell you honestly you would not
recognize the transplanted face. The above posts are correct,
bones make you look like you do. Even a cute little bobbed nose would
not look the same on a long narrow bridge. Your dental bite would shape the lips, and the chin and jaw structure is amazing on how it can change a a look.



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