Face transplants possible
August 22, 2008 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Lancet reports say partial face transplants are a reality. Face transplant before and after pictures here.
posted by NikitaNikita (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dear Medical Science,
You're making the rest of us look lazy. Knock it off.
Everyone on the planet who isn't some kind of flesh-magician.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 3:36 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Um, didn't this already get done with the cigarette smoking french woman whose dog chewed her face off?
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on August 22, 2008

Remarkable results, which I'm sure will only improve as surgeons gain experience with the procedure. I wonder how much easier or harder it is to find a good donor face than other organs.

Also: Good job, BBC, putting the "SOME MAY FIND THE FOLLOWING IMAGES DISTURBING" warning below the first potentially disturbing image.
posted by jedicus at 3:38 PM on August 22, 2008

The very last set in particular is quite impressive.
posted by luftmensch at 3:39 PM on August 22, 2008

Artw -- yes. Now there are three, though. That's an increase in face transplants of 200%! (With that kind of growth, we'll all be getting face transplants five times a week by 2025!)
posted by Michael Roberts at 3:40 PM on August 22, 2008

Ah, french cigarette smoking woman was Isabelle Dinoire, and hers seems to have been downgraded to a partial face transplant.
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on August 22, 2008

Also the correct title was "FACE / ON".
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Face transplants? Bah! Try head transplants, and then we'll talk!

(I have, and believe me, they're not easy.)
posted by Dr. Spaceman at 3:47 PM on August 22, 2008

Thank goodness for the self-preservation instinct that cut in just in time and said, "Do you really want to click that link?"

I will content myself to know that, should I need one in the future, the option will become available.
posted by darksasami at 3:51 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

For the squeamish: the pictures aren't all that gross, probably a lot less gross than your average episode of CSI.
posted by mosk at 4:05 PM on August 22, 2008

That's beautiful these people who would otherwise be isolated because of their looks, will now have a chance at a more regular life. It would wonderful if it were possible to use this in burn victims but I don't know if their immune systems could handle/accept the surgery.

A man in China has undergone a second operation to remove a massive, 10kg collection of tumours that have virtually hidden his face and are warping his backbone.

Warning, not easy to look at: This is a photo of Huang Chuncai with an update on his recovery process, which seems to be succeeding.
posted by nickyskye at 4:23 PM on August 22, 2008

Tumour man has second face operation

That's some high quality journalism there!
posted by blue_beetle at 4:27 PM on August 22, 2008

Warning: A YouTube video of Huang Chuncai's surgery before and right after.
posted by nickyskye at 4:32 PM on August 22, 2008

Does the transplanted face have to be on your head? I see no reason why medical science can't be aritstic.
posted by jonmc at 4:38 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

Partial face plant video.
posted by pracowity at 4:40 PM on August 22, 2008

Les Yeux Sans Visage in 4 Minutes
The operation scene is slightly gory. Overdubbed with music by Portishead.
posted by ...possums at 4:42 PM on August 22, 2008

I wonder if they can then use more conventional forms of plastic surgery to finish things off... correct the scarring a bit, even out and level the eyes and noses, that sort of thing.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:45 PM on August 22, 2008

Oh please. Those doctors did a horrible job. Those men look *nothing* like Nicholas Cage. They're not going to fool anyone...
posted by miss lynnster at 5:52 PM on August 22, 2008

I believe in Harvey Dent.
posted by SPrintF at 6:02 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

This is going to give a whole new meaning to "get your game face on".
posted by C.Batt at 6:49 PM on August 22, 2008

Or, we can just keep people away from angry fucking animals.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:14 PM on August 22, 2008

and angry tumors?
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:27 PM on August 22, 2008

I hereby offer the use of my largish buttocks for the transplantation of faces from any number of annoying celebrities, reviled leaders or besmirched captains of industry.

I can accept the fact that the faces won't actually complain vocally when I sit on them, but we have to start somewhere.
posted by loquacious at 8:39 PM on August 22, 2008

I was going to make a smart ass comment about how I was going to leave my face to some pimply computer programmer living in a basement so he/she could pick up more women, but then I looked at the pictures and the last two convinced me that this was less of a joking matter and more of a really positive medical innovation. How nice for those people. Thanks be to science!
posted by fuq at 10:00 PM on August 22, 2008

Wait, I'll get my surprised face...
posted by DreamerFi at 2:27 AM on August 23, 2008

I feel a lot of compassion for these people. Their lives (even after) must include a lot of staring, rude remarks, and even harassment/assault. I've been the subject of these even though my impairment is a lot less severe than theirs (and unfortunately cannot be corrected through surgery). Many, if not most people, can't get past the visceral reaction they have to someone who looks so different. I don't consider this to be mere shallowness; I think it's hardwired into our lizard brain that people are supposed to fit within a certain range of "normal" and people who don't might be disease carriers or dangerous in some way.

I think many of us would feel awkward, sad and ashamed if a picture of ourselves had to be prefaced with "disturbing images follow." I hope they have the emotional support they need and the spiritual strength to get through this.
posted by desjardins at 8:08 AM on August 23, 2008

this is going to give a whole new meaning to "your face, my ass".
posted by quonsar at 8:57 AM on August 23, 2008

Ok, now y'all are making me feel guilty for making a Nicolas Cage Face/Off joke. Hell, whaddaya want? I'm weak, people!

Yay for medical progress!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:24 AM on August 23, 2008

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