CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Face transplant. Computer artwork of a new face being transplanted on to a woman. Transplanting a face requires advanced microsurgical techniques to connect the numerous muscles, blood vessels and nerves of the new face to the patient. The donor face would come from a dead person and the patient would have their existing face muscles, skin and fat removed. The technique could help those whose faces have been disfigured by disease or accidents such as burns. One major problem is the possible rejection of the new face by the patient's immune system. There could also be psychiatric problems. As of November 2003, several surgical teams are preparing to perform the first face transplant.
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