First Face Transplant – Press Release, 30 Nov 2005

Press release – 30th Nov 2005

As news of the world’s first face transplant is announced, Consultant Facial Surgeon Iain Hutchison at Barts, chief executive of Saving Faces – The Facial Surgery Research Foundation, comments:

This is the first facial transplant of the modern era. All medical advances are to be celebrated, but this operation throws up many moral and ethical issues. This was a ‘quality of life’ operation rather than a life-saving operation and has many implications for the recipient and donor’s families.

The recipient chose to take the risk of the operation failing if the blood vessels become blocked, there’s a medium-term risk of the immuno-suppressant drugs failing to control rejection of the donor tissue, and a long-term risk of the drugs causing cancers.  She could be back to square one without a face, needing further reconstruction operations.

For the donor’s family there are other issues – the facial skin and fat will have been removed while the donor’s body was kept alive. And grieving becomes a very difficult issue.

It’s a huge dilemma to choose who should receive a face transplant.

For media enquires, please contact the Saving Faces office.

They screwed my face back together – The Mirror, 29 June 2000

Reproduced from The Mirror on 29th of June 2000. Article by Jill Palmer.

RHONDA Gibbs stared in the mirror in disbelief. She hardly recognised the rebuilt face that was looking back at her. For the first time in years, she looked “normal”. The bone deformity which had totally disfigured her face had gone. The long and complex operation that involved breaking her jaw and nose and reconstructing them using screws and metal plates had been a success. “I was absolutely delighted and I still am,” says Rhonda, who lives in Croydon, Surrey, with her husband Russell and their two-year-old daughter Molly.

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Rebuilding Faces – The Sunday Express 27 June 2004

Reproduced from The Sunday Express, 27th of June 2004. Article by Nicki Chesworth.

“After 29 years hiding her facial deformity from the world, a new face has meant a new life for Sue, who suffers from a genetic bone deformity.” The Sunday Express talks to Sue Elphick, a former patient of Prof Iain Hutchison. Sue also participated in the Saving Faces Art Project.

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Sue shares her story with Saving Faces.

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