Doctors in the US have successfully completed a near-total face transplant on a 32-year-old man during an extensive, life-changing surgery to improve his ability to chew, speak, breathe and smell.
The face of recipient Andy Sandness was devastated by a gunshot wound at the age of 21. Andy Sandness, a man of 31, lost his actual face because of his own blunder. Just before the Christmas in 2006 he drank too much. After the supper, he grabbed a rifle and positioned it just under his chin and pulled the trigger. Just after the incident, Andy Sandness understood that he had done a terrible thing. The police arrived and rushed him to the hospital. First, he got treatment from two hospitals and then shifted to the Mayo Clinic.
‘Facial transplant recipient Andy Sandness, of Wyoming, is pleased with the results of the surgery months after undergoing the rare procedure.’
Andy opted to undergo the rare procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., nearly 10 years after he shot himself in the face during a failed suicide attempt at the age of 21.
Andy Sandness was desperate to survive. He got a positive answer very quickly from Dr. Samir Mardini, a plastic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and a specialist in facial construction. The doctor assured the 31-year-old man to be strong as he had to undergo a lengthy facial transplant surgery.
The truth is it was not possible to bring back the real face of Andy Sandness, so the doctors need a donor get a new face and to perform the surgeries.
The surgery, which spanned more than 50 hours, was carried last year and involved restoring Sandness' nose, upper and lower jaw, palate, teeth, cheeks, facial muscles, oral mucosa, some of the salivary glands and the skin of the face.
A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians and health professionals used virtual surgical planning technology and 3D printing to optimise the aesthetic and functional outcomes of the surgery at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus.