Charla Nash: BWH Surgeons Perform Face and Hands Transplant Surgery

May 4, 2016

The viability of Charla’s face transplant is not in jeopardy. Overall, she is doing well. Charla is currently experiencing a moderate rejection episode, which face transplant patients experience on occasion. Charla was previously participating in a research study that is designed to determine whether it is possible for composite tissue allograft recipients to safely taper off of conventional anti rejection medications. Per the study design, we have removed Charla from this research protocol due to this rejection episode. She has resumed her original medication, and will most likely leave the hospital in the next day or two. We expect this rejection episode to be resolved within the coming week.

- Bohdan Pomahac, MD, director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I appreciate everyone’s concern. I feel perfect. I didn’t even know I was having a rejection episode. While I am disappointed that I cannot continue in the research project, I am proud of my contributions to date, and am hopeful that it will help those wounded serving our country, and others needing transplants in the future.

- Charla Nash

August 11, 2011

First Photo and Statement from Face Transplant Recipient Charla Nash is Released

Read Charla's statement

“It’s wonderful to see how Charla’s recovery has progressed as she continues taking steps toward her new life,” said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the BWH Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program. Pomahac led the team of more than 30 physicians, nurses and anesthesiologists in the full face transplant procedure, at the time the third full face transplant in three months at BWH.

June 10, 2011

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) plastic and orthopedic surgery team, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, performed a full face transplant on Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman who was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009. The procedure was performed late last month. It is the third full face transplant procedure performed this year at Brigham and Women’s. A double hand transplant was also performed, however the hands failed to thrive and were removed.

Consent for the donation of the tissue graft from the face was obtained by New England Organ Bank staff after conversations with the donor family.

“When our work on this face transplant project began, we knew it would depend on consent for donation from some amazing donor families who would seek to help others even as they experienced their own personal grief. We have since had the honor of working with four donor families who have made this donation decision. Their strength and generosity are an inspiration to all of us,” said Richard S. Luskin, CEO of New England Organ Bank.

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Press conference at Brigham and Women's Hospital on June 10, 2011, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac addresses the media.

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