Quantcast
Connect with us

New York plastic surgeon performs ‘most extensive’ face transplant ever

Published

on

A plastic surgeon at New York University’s Langone Medical Center has performed the “most extensive” facial transplant ever.

Related: Face transplants – a short history

Dr Eduardo Rodriguez performed the transplant over 26 hours in August. In that time, he gave a 41-year-old former firefighter from Tennessee, Patrick Hardison, the face of David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old bike mechanic from Brooklyn who became braindead after a cycling accident this summer.

The procedure and the stories of the two men’s lives were extensively detailed in a piece written for New York Magazine by Steve Fishman and published on Sunday night .

Hardison was badly burned when responding to a house fire in Senatobia, Mississippi on 5 September 2001. He was given the semblance of a face with flesh transferred from his thighs, but in the years leading up to his surgery at Langone he underwent 71 operations at a rate of seven a year and became dependent on painkillers, wrecking his family life.

Of his appearance before the transplant, Hardison told Fishman: “Kids ran screaming and crying when they saw me. There are things worse than dying.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Facial transplants are not common, but they have been performed around the world for 10 years. The first partial facial transplant was performed in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old French woman who had been bitten by a dog. The first such operation in the US was performed in December 2008 on Connie Culp , a 46-year-old Cleveland woman who was shot by her husband four years earlier.

In Spain in 2010, a 31-year-old man named only as Oscar, a farmer who accidentally shot himself in the face, was given what was then described as the world’s first full facial transplant .

In the US in 2011, surgeons at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston gave a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves to Dallas Wiens, a 25-year-old construction worker from Texas who was disfigured in an accident involving power lines. That operation was paid for by the US military . It could not restore his sight.

Rodebaugh’s face was the third offered to Hardison, who met the pioneering Dr Rodriguez in 2012. The first was from a Hispanic man, whose family withdrew consent. The second was from a woman, which Hardison declined. Rodebaugh’s face was offered through LiveOnNY , the New York organ donor network.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the New York magazine piece, Fishman details the delicate, exhausting and perilous procedure which Dr Rodriguez followed – which he warned his patient would be “the most extensive face transplant yet performed”.

“Two days after [Rodebaugh] was declared braindead,” he writes , “at 7.30am on 14 August, the surgery began. Rodriguez started on Rodebaugh, carefully dissecting the half-inch-thick scalp away from the skull. He worked from the back toward the ears, then the nose, which he sawed off. The trick was to cut away the tissue while preserving nerves, muscles and the carotid arteries and the internal jugular veins – the ‘big pipes’.”

The procedure was not without drama, as Hardison’s jugular vein proved to be bigger than that which had belonged to Rodebaugh, causing Hardison to lose blood dangerously. Dr Rodriguez improvised, inserting one jugular into a minutely cut hole in the side of the other.

Hardison is now recovering. He will take immunosuppressant drugs for his life, and Dr Rodriguez told Fishman “there will be a rejection – not if but when”. Dr Rodriguez estimated that between three and five of the other patients who have received facial transplants around the world died after the new tissue was rejected.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of Hardison’s sons, though, told Fishman : “When I see his face, I want to memorise it, so the next time I see him, I know it’s my dad.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Missouri man threatened to ‘kill every gay person I can’ at St. Louis PrideFest: police

Published

on

A Missouri man this week was charged with making a terrorist threat after he said he planned to "kill every gay person I can" at St. Louis's annual PrideFest.

The St. Louis Dispatch reports that court documents filed this week claim that 49-year-old Edward A. Terry of Overland, Missouri created a fake email account and sent a message to a PrideFest organizer saying that he would "come to pride fest with my guns to kill every gay person I can before I kill myself."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Establishment Dems pressuring new congress members to attend AIPAC Israel junket: report

Published

on

For years, freshman Democratic lawmakers have faced pressure to attend an AIPAC sponsored trip to Israel, where they were denied access to Gaza and other territories controlled by Israel.

The pressure remains stronger than ever today, reports The Intercept, even as Israel's mideast policy is increasingly questioned.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) assured AIPAC that this year the trip would be as well attended as it has been previously. “Like many of you, I’ve traveled to the communities in the south of Israel that have endured rockets and tunnels. I’ve traveled with over 150 of my fellow Democratic members of Congress to meet with those who live under the constant threat of terror,” he said in an April address to AIPAC.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump leveled by retired general for making Iran war decisions based on advice from Fox News hosts

Published

on

During a panel discussion on the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran after a drone was shot down by the Middle Eastern country in international airspace, a retired general claimed he was worried about Donald Trump's response based upon who it appears the president listens to when it comes to advice.

Speaking with host John Berman, retired Lt. General Mark Hertling warned that the shootdown was a dangerous provocation.

"It's huge, John," Hertling explained. "You can go all the way from backing down completely to a full-scale war -- that's what's dangerous about this situation."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link