Donor Facial Composite Allograft Recovery Operation: Cleveland and Boston Experiences

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Abstract

Background:

Complexity of logistic issues related to facial transplantation includes donor tissue recovery, recipient preparation, and operative execution. Limited information is available on the intricate process associated with facial allograft procurement in the United States.

Methods:

The face transplant teams at the Cleveland Clinic and Brigham and Women's Hospital have combined their experiences regarding collaboration with organ procurement organizations and institutional review boards, and outlined technical and logistic challenges encountered during the process of facial allograft procurement and compared them with those of solid organ procurement.

Results:

In a collaborative effort, both programs have created comprehensive guidelines for all aspects involved in donor facial allograft procurement.

Conclusions:

The authors suggest that every face transplant team should develop a thorough understanding of the local and regional legislative issues related to organ and tissue donation and ethical concerns surrounding this procedure. The recovery plan has to be communicated extensively among all members of the team. The Cleveland and Boston teams hope their experiences may help other teams in the process of building new face transplant programs.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, V.

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