Background: The central face high-energy avulsive injury has been frequently encountered and predictably managed at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. However, despite significant surgical advances and multiple surgical procedures, the ultimate outcome continues to reveal an inanimate, insensate, and suboptimal aesthetic result.
Methods: To effectively address this challenging deformity, a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach was devised. The strategy involved the foundation of a basic science laboratory, the cultivation of a supportive institutional clinical environment, the innovative application of technologies, cadaveric simulations, a real-time clinical rehearsal, and an informed and willing recipient who had the characteristic deformity.
Results: After institutional review board and organ procurement organization approval, a total face, double jaw, and tongue transplantation was performed on a 37-year-old man with a central face high-energy avulsive ballistic injury.
Conclusions: This facial transplant represents the most comprehensive transplant performed to date. Through a systematic approach and clinical adherence to fundamental principles of aesthetic surgery, craniofacial surgery, and microsurgery and the innovative application of technologies, restoration of human appearance and function for individuals with a devastating composite disfigurement is now a reality.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, V.