Face transplantation: Where do we stand?

François Petit, Antonis Paraskevas, Alicia B. Minns, W. P.Andrew Lee, Laurent A. Lantieri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The recent clinical cases of hand and composite tissue allotransplantation opened a new era in the practice of reconstructive surgery. Some have suggested that face (allo) transplantation could be the next step to benefit patients whose conditions cannot be addressed by conventional techniques of reconstructive surgery using autologous tissues. This article reviews the current status of science regarding the prospect of human face transplantation. The main issues fall into three categories: (1) the surgical challenge of the procedure, specifically regarding vascular viability and functional recovery of the graft; (2) the risks of side effects from life-long immunosuppression necessary to prevent graft rejection; and (3) the ethical debate and the effects of the procedure on the population. Although face transplantation could one day be performed and extend the boundaries of reconstructive surgery, there are currently many obstacles that need to be overcome first.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1433
Number of pages5
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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