Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost Complete Face Transplant



The first U.S. face transplant is the most complete one ever attempted. While it's nothing like what spy movies might have hopefuls thinking, that this is the ultimate plastic surgery or a better alternative to the witness protection program, for some folks who have been severely mauled or traumatized, this surgery may be the start of a new life.

To get more details follow links to article and photos:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/18/health/s18face.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink



The doctor in charge of the team of specialists who performed the surgery responded to some criticism that the surgery is dangerous and unnecessary. She spoke about people who couldn't live normal lives because their faces were so destroyed. The soundbite that really got me was, "You need the face to face the world."

I can't stop thinking about The Phantom of the Opera, and how underneath all the Andrew Lloyd Webber there is a story that validates Dr. Maria Siemionow's point. Can you imagine life severely disfigured? Getting a face transplant? Waking up with a new face?

I watched a bad Lifetime movie about a brain transplant...a model's brain ends up in a housewife's body. It sounds like a comedy, but it was actually sort of disturbing. How much does a person identify themselves as their body? Who do you become, what does your life become, not when your body is damaged, but when it is changed to an almost normal version of some one else?

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