Field of face transplantation gains speed after a slow start

06/11/2013 | Verge, The

The field of face transplantation got off to a slow start after plastic surgeon Joseph Murray performed the first successful human organ transplant. Plastic surgeons performed dozens of animal trials, research yielded new drugs that would prevent rejection of donor skin and tissue, and advances in microsurgery allowed delicate surgical procedures, but insurers would not cover the procedure and organ donation registries initially declined to list face transplant candidates. Military funding for two clinical trials kickstarted the field, and some 30 patients have now received face transplants.

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