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7+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2008
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  1. MD/PhD Student
Unless you've been hunkering down for a shelf exam (like I should be) or otherwise living in a box, you've heard the Cleveland Clinic's announcement about the first face transplant performed in the US. I watched the live press conference this afternoon and thought that Dr. Siemionow and her team presented the ethical considerations and technical details admirably, while trying to minimize the potentially sensationalist aspects associated with the event. The composite tissue flap included the maxilla (teeth included), facial musculature and the facial nerve(s), but I didn't get a sense from the press conference whether the flap would have sensory innervation. As one currently on the integrated interview trail, I can't imagine a more exciting time to come into Plastic Surgery.

The Cleveland Clinic docs stressed that this technique has no application in cosmetic settings, but I wonder how the public at large will react. Surely those that are close to performing CTA at other institutions will benefit by the increase in public dialogue about the procedure.

Please share your thoughts here about what was announced today, and the future of composite tissue allotranplantation, especially face tranplants.
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