Total face, eyelids, ears, scalp, and skeletal subunit transplant: A reconstructive solution for the full face and total scalp burn

Michael Sosin, Daniel J. Ceradini, Jamie P. Levine, Alexes Hazen, David A. Staffenberg, Pierre B. Saadeh, Roberto L. Flores, Nicole G. Sweeney, G. Leslie Bernstein, Eduardo D. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background: Reconstruction of extensive facial and scalp burns can be increasingly challenging, especially in patients that have undergone multiple procedures with less than ideal outcomes resulting in restricting neck and oral contractures, eyelid dysfunction, and suboptimal aesthetic appearance. Methods: To establish a reconstructive solution for this challenging deformity, a multidisciplinary team was assembled to develop the foundation to a facial vascularized composite allotransplantation program. The strategy of developing and executing a clinical transplant was derived on the basis of fostering a cohesive and supportive institutional clinical environment, implementing computer software and advanced technology, establishing a cadaveric transplant model, performing a research facial procurement, and selecting an optimal candidate with the aforementioned burn defect who was well informed and had the desire to undergo face transplantation. Results: Approval from the institutional review board and organ procurement organization enabled our face transplant team to successfully perform a total face, eyelids, ears, scalp, and skeletal subunit transplant in a 41-year-old man with a full face and total scalp burn. Conclusions: The culmination of knowledge attained from previous experiences continues to influence the progression of facial vascularized composite allotransplantation. This surgical endeavor methodically and effectively synchronized the fundamental principles of aesthetic, craniofacial, and microvascular surgery to restore appearance and function to a patient suffering from failed conventional surgery for full face and total scalp burns. This procedure represents the most extensive soft-tissue clinical face transplant performed to date. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDEMCE: Therapeutic, V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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