If a person's face has been severely damaged by some sort of trauma or illness, there's a good chance that he or she does not have enough of his or her own tissue left to reconstruct all of the components of his or her face. This can be a problem because it makes reconstructive surgery to restore these features very difficult. One way to get around this difficulty is to have the patient undergo a facial transplant. Facial transplants are essentially when tissue is taken from a donor that is deceased and is used to rebuild a person's face. This is a very complicated process and is not for everyone, but those who are able to undergo it have experienced success. Here is what doctors are looking for when they are considering people to become candidates for a facial transplant.
1. Family Support
Any patient that wants a facial transplant is going to need to show that he or she has strong family support or support of friends with whom he or she lives. This is critical because the healing process for a facial transplant takes a very long time to heal and there could be several different complications that would need to be monitored by the family. This procedure can also be relatively stressful while you wait for the bandages to come off in order to see the results and a support system significantly helps with that. The patient will also need to undergo a psychological examination in order to make sure that he or she will be able to handle the surgery.
2. Physical Health
In order for a person's body to not reject the transplant, he or she will need to undergo immunosuppressive therapy, which is when his or her immune system is suppressed enough to not attack the transplant. This makes a person's body more vulnerable to illness and disease. Therefore, anyone who undergoes this sort of procedure needs to be relatively healthy enough to make sure that he or she is not harmed by having his or her immune system repressed.
3. No Cardiovascular Diseases
Some patients who have had a history of heart diseases will not be able to undergo this procedure because their history puts them at higher risk for complications as a result of the procedure.
For more information, talk to your local reconstructive surgeons. They will be able to help evaluate you in order to make sure that you are physically and mentally fit enough to become a candidate for a facial transplant.