Total Face, Eyelids, Ears, Scalp, and Skeletal Subunit Transplant Research Procurement: A Translational Simulation Model

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Abstract

Background:

Cadaveric face transplant models are routinely used for technical allograft design, perfusion assessment, and transplant simulation but are associated with substantial limitations. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of implementing a translational donor research facial procurement and solid organ allograft recovery model.

Methods:

Institutional review board approval was obtained, and a 49-year-old, brain-dead donor was identified for facial vascularized composite allograft research procurement. The family generously consented to donation of solid organs and the total face, eyelids, ears, scalp, and skeletal subunit allograft.

Results:

The successful sequence of computed tomographic scanning, fabrication and postprocessing of patient-specific cutting guides, tracheostomy placement, preoperative fluorescent angiography, silicone mask facial impression, donor facial allograft recovery, postprocurement fluorescent angiography, and successful recovery of kidneys and liver occurred without any donor instability. Preservation of the bilateral external carotid arteries, facial arteries, occipital arteries, and bilateral thyrolinguofacial and internal jugular veins provided reliable and robust perfusion to the entirety of the allograft. Total time of facial procurement was 10 hours 57 minutes.

Conclusions:

Essential to clinical face transplant outcomes is the preparedness of the institution, multidisciplinary face transplant team, organ procurement organization, and solid organ transplant colleagues. A translational facial research procurement and solid organ recovery model serves as an educational experience to modify processes and address procedural, anatomical, and logistical concerns for institutions developing a clinical face transplantation program. This methodical approach best simulates the stressors and challenges that can be expected during clinical face transplantation.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, V.

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