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Face transplantation calls for 'reverse craniofacial planning'
Date:12/10/2012

Philadelphia, Pa. (December 10, 2012) - As surgical teams gain experience with facial transplantation, a careful approach to planning based on the principles of craniofacial surgery can help to maximize patient outcomes in terms of facial form and function, according to an article in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. The journal, under the editorship of Mutaz B. Habal, MD, is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part ofWolters Kluwer Health.

In patients with extensive facial defects including loss of the normal bone and soft tissue landmarks, a "reverse craniofacial planning" approach can restore normal facial relationships, the report suggests. The lead author was Dr. Edward J. Caterson, a member of the facial transplant team at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Craniofacial Principles Applied to Facial Transplantation

Dr. Caterson and colleagues apply some basic principles of craniofacial surgery to the planning and performance of facial transplants. Although still a rare and relatively new procedure, facial transplantation now offers a reconstructive option for patients with severe facial deficits. Most patients who are candidates for facial transplant have loss of soft tissues only (such as skin, muscle, blood vessels, and nerves).

However, some patients also have defects of the underlying facial bones. In these cases, the challenge for the facial transplant team is nothing less than "the complete restoration of the structural anatomy of the craniofacial skeleton," the authors write.

Through their experience with reconstructive surgery in patients with severe congenital deformities, craniofacial surgeons have developed an understanding of the "intimate functional relationship" between the faci
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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