Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The First U.S. Face Transplant
In 2004, Connie Culp looked like this photo (below). Her husband shot her in the face and then shot himself (and lived) with the same gun. Her nose, cheeks, eye and mouth were shattered and she was in the ICU clinging to life. She received over 30 operations on her face at the Cleveland Clinic. See the before photo which shows her after countless grafts and pieces of bone were reconstructed. But she was still unable to eat solid food and she has a tracheotomy for breathing.
On December 10 she underwent a 22 hour operation, the fourth face transplant in the world as doctors used the face of a woman who had just died to replace bone, muscles, nerves, skin and blood vessels.
It is a joy to be a small part of medicine and healing. Read more about this amazing story here.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 7:26 AM