A Full Face Transplant Removed This Deadly Bundle of Blood Vessels

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This 3D scan shows a tangle of abnormal blood vessels beneath a patient’s skin. Their presence caused speech and vision problems, and were in danger of rupturin, which could have ended his life. Now, they’ve been removed during the course of a full face transplant.

During surgery performed in February, by Joan-Pere Barret and a team of 45 medical staff at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, a 27-hour operation saw the patient’s face almost entirely reconstructed. His lower face, neck, mouth, tongue and pharynx were all rebuilt, removing the blood vessel growth of over 20 years.

It’s not the first successful face transplant, but it does demonstrate the medical profession’s increasing ability to completely rebuild complex biological features in the operating theatre. [New Scientist]

Image by Vall d’Hebron University Hospital