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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2018 Oct;71(10):1383-1391. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2018.05.019. Epub 2018 Jun 9.

Long-distance care of face transplant recipients in the United States.

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Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY, USA.
Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:


Promising aesthetic and functional outcomes in facial transplantation have fueled the interest of patients and providers alike. However, there are currently only 11 active face transplant centers in the United States, and only five have accumulated operative experience to date, resulting in an extremely unbalanced geographical distribution of providers. Since face transplant recipients must receive life-long follow-up, this presents unique challenges for face transplant candidates and provider teams, as long-distance travel may add considerable difficulty to pre- and post-transplant care. Furthermore, by compromising follow-up, this burden of travel may impact the ability of experienced face transplant centers to collect data, share knowledge as these patients are followed, and continue to advance the field. This article highlights the unique logistical and ethical implications of the highly probable long-distance nature of face transplant care in the United States, a challenging aspect of management that has not been previously discussed in the literature. Furthermore, we review current strategies in the long-distance management of solid organ transplantation (SOT) recipients, and propose several possibilities to help address these challenges in facial transplantation based on SOT experience.


Face transplant; Facial transplantation; Long distance; Management; VCA

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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