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Cleveland Clinic Surgeons Perform Nation's First Near-Total Face Transplant
Date:12/17/2008

Surgery Largest, Most Complex of Its Kind; 80 Percent of Trauma Patient's Face Transplanted

CLEVELAND, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A multi-disciplinary team of doctors and surgeons at Cleveland Clinic recently performed the first near-total face transplant in the United States.

In a 22-hour procedure performed within the past two weeks, surgeons transplanted 80 percent of a woman's face who suffered severe facial trauma -- essentially replacing her entire face, except for her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin. For the privacy and protection of those involved, no information will be released on the patient, the donor or their families. (A written statement from the patient's sibling is available at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/face.)

This is the largest and most complex face transplant in the world, integrating different functional components such as nose and lower eyelids, as well as different tissue types including, skin, muscles, bony structures, arteries, veins and nerves.

"This work demonstrates the Cleveland Clinic's commitment to improving the lives of patients through innovation," said Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, M.D., President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic. "By advancing scientific research in microsurgery and transplantation, Cleveland Clinic is setting new standards of care. I'm extremely proud of the team who worked tirelessly to make a difference in this patient's life."

The transplant team was led by Maria Siemionow, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Plastic Surgery Research and Head of Microsurgery Training, who received worldwide attention in November 2004 when the Clinic's Institutional Review Board (IRB) announced that face transplantation is both ethical and possible by approving the first protocol for the surgery. Siemion
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SOURCE Cleveland Clinic
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