Facial Allograft Donation: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Family Members : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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Facial Allograft Donation: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Family Members

Verfaillie, Anthony MD*; De Corte, Kim PhD*,†; Van Parys, Hanna PhD*; Roche, Nathalie A. MD, PhD; Stillaert, Filip B. MD; Vermeersch, Hubert F. MD, PhD; Peeters, Patrick C. MD§; Colenbie, Luc BSc; De Cubber, Jan CCA; De Roeck, Frans CCA; Blondeel, Phillip N. MD, PhD; Lemmens, Gilbert M.D. MD, PhD*,†

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(3):p 942-948, May 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009156

Abstract

Facial allograft transplantation can be regarded as a particular and complex type of donation because of its perceptibility and the importance of the face as an identity characteristic. As research on this topic is currently lacking, the objective of this study is to explore the experiences of the family members of the donor in facial allograft donation. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted separately with the donor’s family members and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Six themes were identified: (1) Contrasting facial donation to that of more commonly donated organs; (2) Consenting to facial donation; (3) Expectations towards the recipient of the facial graft; (4) Expectations and consequences of restoration of the donor’s face; (5) Relationship with the medical team during the process; and (6) Media attention. The findings of our study help to better support donor families through the facial donation process and to improve facial transplantation procedures.

Copyright © 2023 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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