The docs behind the most extensive face transplant operation ever performed are out with a brand new report on the exceptional 26-hour procedure and the way it has remodeled the lifetime of Patrick Hardison, a former firefighter horribly disfigured by burns sustained within the line of responsibility.

(Warning: Photographs beneath are graphic.)

The report, revealed within the July problem of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, provides an in depth have a look at the dangerous surgical procedure, which passed off final August at NYU Langone Medical Middle in New York Metropolis.

It features a graphic educational video of the process and beforehand unreleased pictures of Hardison and the face donor, together with some pictures that the docs deemed too ugly for widespread launch ― like this one and this one.

There’s additionally a blow-by-blow of the surgical methods utilized by the staff of greater than 100 docs, nurses, technicians and assist employees, in addition to particulars on how Hardison, a 42-year-old father of 5 from Senatobia, Mississippi, has fared for the reason that surgical procedure.


Patrick Hardison previous to his face transplant surgical procedure (left) and in February 2016, about six months after surgical procedure.

The docs’ goal in making ready the report was to assist enhance outcomes for all face transplant sufferers ― particularly these with in depth face and scalp burns like Hardison’s.

“Being an instructional surgeon, I feel it will be important that we publish,” Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez, the lead surgeon and co-author of the report, instructed The Huffington Publish. “And our expertise ― the strategy and the fundamental science ― may also help different groups define how you can go about performing most of these operations.”

Rodriguez mentioned he was happy by the outcomes of the surgical procedure ― believed to be the 37th face transplant ever carried out and the one one which concerned transplanting the eyelids, ears and scalp, in addition to the face ― and the truth that Hardison’s immune system hasn’t rejected the transplanted tissue.

Tissue rejection is an issue for a lot of transplant sufferers, together with one other high-profile face transplant recipient, Charla Nash, a Connecticut girl who obtained a brand new face in 2011 after being mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009.

Rodriguez can be gratified by the advance in Hardison’s high quality of life.

“We’ve seen that Patrick is integrating into society once more,” he mentioned, including that Hardison not should rely upon assist from his mom and that he has even been in a position to “soar into the pool,” one thing he hadn’t been in a position to do since his damage. 

Not surprisingly, Hardison too is happy at how issues have turned out.

“Although I understood the chance of present process a face transplant, I by no means as soon as doubted that it was one thing I wanted to do,” Hardison instructed HuffPost in an e-mail. “For example, earlier than the surgical procedure, I couldn’t drive and didn’t sleep nicely since I couldn’t shut my eyelids. Now I’m able to do each of this stuff, which has actually enhanced my high quality of life. “

Along with having fun with higher mobility and sleep, Hardison is now in a position to converse, breathe and eat with much less issue. His look can be vastly improved, as you possibly can see within the earlier than and after pictures above.

Hardison was burned on Sept. 5, 2001, whereas combating a home fireplace in Senatobia, dropping his eyelids, ears, lips, most of his nostril and all his facial hair. He spent 63 days within the hospital and underwent scores of surgical procedures to restore broken tissue and restore misplaced perform.

However the lack of tissue and scarring have been so in depth that little might be accomplished about his look. Consequently, Hardison started hiding behind sun shades and a baseball cap when he ventured out in public.

Hardison lived that manner for nearly a decade and a half. Then, on the night of Aug. 12, 2015, he realized in a cellphone name from New York Metropolis donor face was accessible. He flew to New York Metropolis the subsequent day. Someday later the NYU docs minimize away his badly scarred face and changed it with the unblemished face of David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old who had been declared brain-dead after a bicycle accident.


Hardison (left) in uniform earlier than his damage (left) and a snapshot of David Rodebaugh, the face donor.

(Docs coated Rodebaugh’s denuded face with a lifelike silicone mask created from a mildew made after loss of life however earlier than the removing of his face and scalp ― to guard Rodebaugh’s household from unnecessary misery.)

Hardison spent greater than two months within the hospital after the transplant after which one other month or so in an condo close to the hospital earlier than returning to Mississippi, hospital officers mentioned. Within the months since then, he has returned to New York regularly for follow-up care.

Hardison’s life isn’t the identical because it was earlier than his damage, after all. And the specter of rejection and different medical issues is ever current. However Hardison acknowledges his luck in getting a brand new face ― and is fast to precise his gratitude.

As he instructed HuffPost, “I’m eternally grateful to David and his household for giving me this valuable reward.”

  • Patrick Hardison Earlier than The Face Transplant Surgical procedure

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Patrick Hardison earlier than the face transplant surgical procedure. At this level he had already undergone greater than 70 surgical procedures to deal with the intense facial and scalp burns that he sustained in 2001.

  • Aspect View Earlier than Surgical procedure

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • The outer elements of Hardison’s ears had been severely burned, so he had been fitted with prosthetic ears (not proven right here) that might be taken on and off.

  • Rear View

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • This photograph, taken earlier than the surgical procedure, exhibits the pegs used to connect the prosthetic ears.

  • Planning The Incisions

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Earlier than the surgical procedure started, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez used a marker to point the place on Hardison’s face the surgical incisions can be made.

  • On The Working Desk

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Hardison simply earlier than surgical procedure, with marks indicating the place the incisions have been to be made. The process took about 26 hours.

  • Instruments Of The Commerce

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • It took loads of devices to carry out the surgical procedure — about 1,000 in all.

  • A Huge Crew

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • The surgical staff assembled previous to the removing of the donor’s face. That is solely a part of the staff, which included greater than 100 docs, nurses, technicians and assist employees.

  • Eradicating The Donor’s Scalp

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Earlier than eradicating the donor’s scalp, surgeons marked the place the incision was to be made. The semicircular incision exhibits the spot the place docs had opened the cranium in an unsuccessful try to save lots of the donor’s life. The orangish coloration is an antiseptic resolution.

  • Face Masks

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • This silicone face masks was used to cowl the donor’s head after his face had been eliminated.

  • Preserving The Face

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Docs positioned the donor face in a preservative resolution. It remained within the resolution for about an hour earlier than being transplanted.

  • Documenting The Operation

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Dr. Alexes Hazen documented the whole process. On the wall are varied pictures and paperwork used to plan the surgical procedure.

  • A Good Signal!

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Hardison instantly after the carotid artery and the inner jugular vein on the best aspect of his new face had been linked. The left aspect of his face is pinker than the best as a result of its blood provide has been restored.

  • Swelling Was Anticipated

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Hardison instantly after surgical procedure. The swelling was anticipated. It is a part of the restoration course of.

  • Stabilizing The Transplant

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • To stabilize the transplant, docs needed to join two nerves, 4 blood vessels and 4 bony segments. They used sutures, plates and screws.

  • The New Face

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Hardison on Oct. 25, 2015, 71 days after the surgical procedure. His eyes have been nonetheless a bit droopy at this level.

  • Patrick After Surgical procedure

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Hardison 71 days after the surgical procedure.

  • Telltale Scar

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • The scar the place the surgeons stitched on the brand new face and scalp is seen in the back of Hardison’s head.

  • Patrick’s New Look

    NYU Langone Medical Middle

  • Patrick Hardison as he appeared in February 2016, about six months after the surgical procedure.

Surgery Face Transplant Patrick Hardison David Rodebaugh Burn Surgery

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