Earlier I had reported on the face transplant surgery successfully conducted by French cosmetic surgeons. And at that time while many American doctors haad admitted that the surgery does have real use for patients burnt or disfigured during accidents, there were also others who wanted to make a big deal about the ethics of performing such procedures.
Looks as if the professional associations want to give a green signal to surgeons who want to perform this procedure. The first step has now been taken towards making facial transplant surgery available in the United States. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) have now unveiled a joint document, Facial Transplantation-ASPS/ASRM Guiding Principles, to assist plastic surgeons considering participation in facial transplantation procedures.
In other words, as long as surgeons follow the ten guiding principles before undertaking a facial transplantation procedure, they should have no problem moving ahead with the surgery. The principles address such issues as appropriate patient selection; medical facility selection; patient informed consent; patient psychological evaluation; proper institutional oversight; and the ethics of the procedure.
The document also considers the issue of facial transplantation by examining various subjects including, immunosuppression, transplant rejection, technical issues and psychological aspects (both those facing all transplant patients and those unique to facial transplant patients).
If you think you are a candidate for a face transplant, you must review these principles with your surgeon and then decide what you want to do.
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