Chilean Doctors Performing the First Face Implant in Latin America

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – A team of Chilean doctors will attempt the first face transplant in Latin America, a procedure that will benefit a 29 year-old man and will take place when a proper donor is available.

    Alejandro Conejero, plastic surgeon at Clinica Las Condes in Santiago who will lead the operation, explained some details of this unprecedented surgery and said that the medical team is ready to operate as soon as they have donor facial tissue.

    “As a team we had not only clinical meetings, but instances where he discussed the case with us, and from a technical point of view we are prepared to do the operation,” the doctor said at a press conference.

    The patient is a 29 year-old man who suffered an accident that disfigured his face in 2004. The young man lost his nasal cavity and part of his jaw, forcing him to eat through a small opening in the lower part of his face.

    “He needs a large segment of the facial skeleton, musculature, coverage, all cartilage and structures that make up the nasal pyramid and, at least, the whole structure forming the upper lip and cheeks,” said the surgeon.

    If the operation goes well, the patient will be able to eat and speak more easily, breathe through his nose and his eyes will be able open and close normally.

    Conejero said the donor must be a man with the same blood group as the patient, with a similar type of skin and be between 20 and 40 years.

    The surgeon said that it was decided to start with this case, which requires a partial face transplant, because if surgery is not successful doctors have alternatives to rebuild the boy’s face.

    The operation will last between 14 and 20 hours, with the participation of two medical teams, each composed of five surgeons, two anesthetists and several assistants. (Crhoy)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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