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Prog Transplant. 2007 Sep;17(3):228-33.

Transplant professionals' attitudes toward facial transplantation in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom.



In November 2005, the world's first partial facial transplantation positioned this treatment at the forefront in the development of facial reconstructive techniques.


Because the procedure is dependent on donation of facial tissue, we sought to understand the attitudes and beliefs of the general public and transplant professionals toward this treatment.


This research reports the results of a survey of 170 transplant professionals sampled by means of a questionnaire generated by a focus group of transplant coordinators.


We found a high level of support for facial transplantation, with 76% of respondents in favor and none opposed to the procedure in principle. There was a significant association between knowing someone with a disfiguring condition and being in favor of facial transplantation. Areas of concern to this group can be summarized as factors that affect organ retrieval and the impact on the retrieval team and the donor family.


Consistency in ranking of item importance provides the basis for development of relevant education materials, team liaison, and care pathways. These findings also validate the use of focus groups in sampling issues of concern to relevant groups as facial transplantation takes its place as a reconstructive option.

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