Face Transplant Surgery

Face transplant surgery, the transfer of face tissue from a deceased human donor to a patient with a severe facial deformity, is an innovative reconstructive procedure that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients with severe facial injuries.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a world leader in promoting and performing this life-giving procedure.

The face transplant team, representing a wide variety of medical specialties, aims to continue building upon these successes to provide other patients with the significant benefits of this procedure. Toward this goal, BWH — supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) — is actively seeking qualified face transplant candidates.

Access the BWH Face Transplant Patient Guide.

To learn more about our face transplant surgery program, please call 617-732-5303 or email bwhfacetransplant@partners.org.

A Life-Giving Procedure

We describe face transplant surgery as a life-giving procedure because it has the potential to dramatically improve, i.e., restore, both a patient’s mental and physical health. However, as with any other type of organ transplantation, this improvement will require the patient to make a lifetime commitment to taking medications that suppress the body’s immune system.

Conventional facial reconstruction methods, which are always considered first, do not tend to provide optimal results for patients with extensive facial deformities. Face transplant surgery, however, has the potential to deliver these desired functional and aesthetic benefits. Functionally, face transplant surgery can immediately restore a patient’s ability to breathe through the nose and speak intelligibly. With time, the ability to smile and show other emotions will also return. And the ability to restore a near-normal facial appearance can lead to tremendous psychological benefits, gradually rebuilding their confidence, elevating their mood and encouraging them to re-immerse in society.

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For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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