Facial transplant surgery in America

The first step has been taken towards making facial transplant surgery available in the United States. After a successful face transplant performed by French surgeons, while there was extensive debate about its ethics in the US, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) have now unveiled a joint document, Facial Transplantation-ASPS/ASRM Guiding Principles, to assist plastic surgeons considering participation in facial transplantation procedures.

In other words, as long as surgeons follow the ten guiding principles before undertaking a facial transplantation procedure, they should have no problem moving ahead with the surgery. The principles address such issues as: appropriate patient selection; medical facility selection; patient informed consent; patient psychological evaluation; proper institutional oversight; and the ethics of the procedure.

The document also considers the issue of facial transplantation by examining various subjects including, immunosuppression, transplant rejection, technical issues and psychological aspects (both those facing all transplant patients and those unique to facial transplant patients).

If you think you are a candidate for a face transplant, you must go over these principles with your surgeon.Recommended article: Safety of multiple plastic surgery procedures confirmed