Someone Else s Face in the Mirror

Identity and the New Science of Face Transplants Carla Bluhm, Nathan

Author: Carla Bluhm

Publisher: Praeger Pub Text

ISBN: STANFORD:36105132197844

Category: Medical

Page: 171

View: 245

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In the fall of 2005, surgeons in France removed part of the face from a cadaver and grafted it onto the head of a 38-year-old woman who had been grossly disfigured when a dog dug part of her face off. And although modern culture is accustomed to pushing medicine and the human body beyond all limits, the world's first partial face transplant caused a stir that still reverberates globally today. This book begins with the story of Isabelle Dinoire, the recipient of that first face transplant, her surgery and her battles with tissue rejection, but its scope widens with a look at how surgical teams including three U.S. transplant teams are in a global race to perform the first full face transplant, and at how medical history has led up to this point - with prior successful transplants ranging from body parts as simple as cornea to those as neurologically complicated as the heart, a hand, and a penis. The most novel among them - the face transplant - however, conjures up particular and expansive psychological issues. Authors Bluhm and Clendenin show us how transplant recipients struggle with functional issues including a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs, but even more challenging in the case of a face transplant is the psychological effect on identity. Who are you, if suddenly your face - or a significant portion of it - is not what you were born with?

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