Lost your good looks in a mishap? Don’t worry, we have hope for you- get a face transplant! When a person’s face or a part of it is replaced with a technical medical procedure we call it a face transplant.

Face transplant

As a famous Western philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, states “The face is the soul of the body”. It is always exposed and cannot be hidden. Our experiences, our feelings are all expressed on our faces through the facial expressions. What if the cruel hands of fate mar the essential organs on the face? What if an accident or fire destroys the nose, mouth, or eyes?

Way back in 2005 the French doctors had changed history for a person by carrying out a partial face transplant and a complete face transplant became a reality in 2010 in Spain. Face is the only body part that uses all 5 senses. The nose is used for smelling, mouth for tasting, ears for hearing, and eyes for seeing. What would happen if the disfigurement pulls down a person mentally because of the embarrassment they may face?

Skin grafting

Earlier skin grafts were used to fix facial disfigurements. This involves taking out healthy skin pieces from various body parts like thighs, buttocks etc and placing them over the damaged face parts. These grafts are incapable of restoring the movement on the skin or giving the original appearance. With the help of advanced medical technologies the doctors can now transplant the face or a part of the face from a donor. This treatment is very realistic.

Full face transplant

Calling the earlier face transplants as in “infancy” , Prof. Dr. Omer Ozkan, academician and surgeon at Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at the Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, who has performed the double arm transplant and three face transplant surgeries, now says that they have reached the “experienced” stage.

The doctor says that the countries which lead in the face transplant stream are Turkey, France, US and Spain. He further stated “There have been 25 operations in the world while Turkey has performed 5. The top-ranking country is France which is followed by Turkey. The face transplantation surgeries performed in Turkey has drawn wide appreciation. What is important in such operation is making the patients gain their self-confidence and the support and reactions you receive. We have received positive reactions which please us.”

Dr. Ozkan has transferred the face of Ahmet Kaya, who committed suicide, on to 19 year old Ugur Acar. Acar’s face was completely burnt due to a fire accident when he was a baby and now he sees a new confidence.

Now Dr. Ozkan carried out full face transplantation with his team on Recep Sert who is 27 year old and who had a shotgun accident in the past leading to the loss of his eye and chin. Sert got the chin and face of Andrej, a Polish tourist, who died of a heart attack. The operation took six and a half hours and the jaw and face bones of Sert were replaced. Finally now Sert will get to enjoy some foodie delights as he has always had a liquid diet since the accident.

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