Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Face Time

Cleveland Clinic Doctor to Attempt First Face Transplant

A Cleveland Clinic doctor will soon try a radical surgery that has never been performed before when she attempts a face transplant, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Seven women and five men will travel to the Cleveland Clinic in the coming weeks to be examined by Dr. Maria Siemionow, according to the AP. The surgeon will study their facial features and ask them what they hope to gain by such a drastic procedure. They will be warned about the dangers and requirements: At worst, the transplant could be rejected and their new face could literally slough off; even in the best instance, they will have to take powerful immunosuppressant drugs for their rest of their lives, which could damage their kidneys and leave them susceptible to cancer.

Dr. Siemionow told the AP she hopes to one day be able to give people disfigured by burns or accidents a chance at a new life. Even the best current treatments still leave scar tissue that doesn't look or move like skin, according to the AP.

The planned procedure is not without controversy; concerns over the risks recently led hospitals in England and France to scrap plans for face transplants, the AP reported, and it took Dr. Siemionow's transplant team more than a year to secure the blessing of the clinic's institutional review board.


At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Lugosi said...

Most politicians are probably ineligible for the surgery because they already have two faces.


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