The Results of This 50-Hour Face Transplant Are Incredible

Last Update: June 20, 2018 at 12:18 pm

SOURCE:  Science Alert

Feb 20, 2017


The Results of This 50-Hour Face Transplant Are Incredible


In June, the Mayo Clinic performed its first face transplant.

The medical feat, which is still a relatively uncommon procedure, was punctuated by the heartbreaking stories of two young men under very similar circumstances – one ending with a damaged face, the other in a death.

Here’s how the decade-long story unfolded.

In 2006 at the age of 21, Andy Sandness attempted suicide. A shot to his chin destroyed most of his face, but he survived.

Once he was stable, doctors at the Mayo Clinic tried to repair his face as best they could, but there wasn’t much they could do about his missing jaw, nose, and teeth.

Sandness eventually went home to Wyoming where he kept busy at his job.

But in 2012, the Mayo Clinic brought up the idea of a face transplant. The procedure would be complicated, and there would be many risks involved.

But after some research, Sandness was still convinced it was the right call.

“When you look like I looked and you function like I functioned, every little bit of hope that you have, you just jump on it,” Sandness told the AP.

“This was the surgery that was going to take me back to normal.”

Getting the go-ahead for the procedure took some time and a whole lot of preparation.

Over the next three years, doctors at the Mayo Clinic spent 50 Saturdays training for the procedure.



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