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Long-Term Multifunctional Outcome and Risks of Face Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation


, : Long-Term Multifunctional Outcome and Risks of Face Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 26(7): 2038-2046

Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) to reconstruct complex centrally located facial defects and to restore vital functions in a 1-staged procedure has worldwide gained acceptance. Continuous long-term multidisciplinary follow-up of face transplant patients is mandatory for surveillance of the complications associated with the immunosuppressive regime and for functional assessment of the graft. In December 2011, our multidisciplinary team performed a digitally planned face transplant at the Ghent University Hospital, Belgium on a 55-year-old man with a large central facial defect after a high-energy ballistic injury. The patient was closely followed to assess functional recovery, immunosuppressive complications, overall well-being, and quality of life. Three years postoperatively, the patient and his family are very satisfied with the overall outcome, and social reintegration in the community is successful. Motor and sensory functions have recovered near normal. Infectious and medical complications have been serious but successfully managed. Immunosuppressive maintenance therapy consists of corticoids, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate mofetil in minimal doses. Epithetic reconstruction of both eyes gave a tremendous improvement on the overall aesthetic outcome. Despite serious complications during the first 12 months, multifunctional outcome in the first face transplant in Belgium (#19 worldwide) is successful. This should be attributed to the continuous and long-term multidisciplinary team approach. As only few reports of other face transplant patients on long-term follow-up are available, more data need to be collected and reported to further outweigh the risk benefit ratio of this life changing surgery.

US$19.90

PMID: 26468783

DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002110


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