Surgeons at NYU Langone Medical Center Perform the Most Extensive Face Transplant to Date

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The surgery—the first of its kind performed in New York State—began the morning of August 14, 2015 and concluded 26 hours later on August 15. It involved a team of more than 100 physicians, nurses, technical and support staff, led by Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery. The recipient, volunteer firefighter Patrick Hardison, 41, of Senatobia, Miss, was injured in September 2001 just days before the 9/11 attacks. Patrick entered a burning home on a rescue search, when its roof collapsed on him, leaving him with disfiguring burns across his entire face, head, neck, and upper torso. He lost his eyelids, ears, lips, most of his nose as well as his hair, including his eyebrows. After enduring more than 70 surgeries in Mississippi and elsewhere, Patrick was still unable to return to a normal life. He was brought to Dr Rodriguez’s attention by a member of his church and a fellow firefighter, who wrote to the doctor describing Patrick’s situation. Dr Rodriguez—who previously performed a complex face transplant in 2012—and his NYU Langone team transplanted not only the face, but also the entire scalp. Patrick’s surgery was pivotal in that the donor’s eyelids and the muscles that control blinking were transplanted—a significant milestone and a procedure that had not been previously performed on a seeing patient. Read Plastic Surgery Practice.