The 10 Most Shocking Face Transplants Ever Performed

“Hey nerd, get a new face!” is something an obnoxious brat might have said to the smartest kid in class 15 years ago. Today, face transplants no longer belong to the realm of science fiction and elementary school bullies. Nope. In fact, in the past 10 years, 28 faces have been removed from the bodies of dead people and put onto living humans.

Believe it or not, nerve endings grow into transplanted facial skin. Believe it or not, a dead person’s nose can be grafted onto a living human’s body, and THEN, used to smell. Smell. The sense of smell, surgically recreated by doctors!

Since the first face transplant performed in 2005, the act of rejuvenating a face has come under criticism for ethical concerns. Unlike organ transplants, victims of facial destruction can live without a face. The risks of undergoing a facial transplant include death, as well as severe illness, and at the very least, it requires that a patient take immune system stabilizing drugs for the remainder of their lives. Many question whether the benefit of having a face and a few additional senses is worth the risk of a complicated and risky procedure.

Aside from ethics, a face transplant is expensive. It costs upwards of $500,000. It requires the effort of 30 – 150 doctors. Once the procedure is complete, patients must consume $38,574 in drugs yearly for the remainder of their lives.

Despite ethical concerns and the exorbitant cost of facial transplants, since 2005, several sensational procedures have been performed. Here are the 10 most noteable.

10. Isabelle Dinoire – First Partial Face Transplant in History

via detroit.cbslocal.com

via detroit.cbslocal.com

The first face transplant in global history took place in Amiens, France in 2005. It was performed on 46 year old Isabelle Dinoire.

One evening, Isabelle took a large dosage of sleeping pills. Although some have accused her of attempting to take her own life, she contends that she accidentally overdosed. While she was asleep, her black Labrador when at her face. When she came to, she glanced in the mirror, and to her horror, saw part of her face was missing.

After initially healing from the disaster, Isabelle met with doctors Bernard Devauchelle and Jean-Michel Dubernard. They agreed to attempt to give her a face transplant using the tissue of a woman who died in a nearby city.

Isabelle received new bone marrow cells, facial skin, a nose, and a chin. When the surgery concluded, her body accepted the new tissue for the first three months. By the first year, Isabelle experienced two tissue rejections, and began taking suppressant drugs to prevent her body from rejecting her face.

The procedure was more or less successful, and to this day marks a surgical turning point in history.

9. Oscar – First Full Face Transplant in history

via newyork.cbslocal.com

via newyork.cbslocal.com

A horrific shooting accident left a Spaniard by the name of Oscar without a face. For five years he struggled, until in 2010, skin began growing over his mouth, making it impossible for him to breathe or eat. His life took a turn when he met Dr. Joan Barrett who offered to perform a full face transplant for Oscar.

On March 20, of 2010, Dr. Barrett began the longest facial surgery in history to date. He set out to repair Oscar’s missing facial muscles, nose, lips, upper jaw, teeth, cheek bones, palate and lacriminal system. The procedure began as Dr. Barrett removed facial tissue from a recently deceased donor’s face, keeping the nerves and blood vessels intact.

Then, Dr. Barrett prepared Oscar’s scull. He placed the new tissue on Oscar’s face, and adjusted his old and new bones. When the procedure was complete, Oscar could breathe and eat again for the first time in years!

8. Connie Culp 

via lifelineofohio.org

via lifelineofohio.org

One horrific day, Connie Culp was attacked by her very own husband. With the power of a gun, her spouse considerably damaged her face. Shortly after, he took his own life. A fighter, Connie held on and lived through the destruction her husband’s shot caused her face.

Without a nose, cheeks, one eye, and a mouth, Connie could not breathe and had to have a hole created in her esophagus to make the simple act of consuming oxygen possible. Living without a face, Connie struggled but held on until she was given the chance at a facial transplant.

Dr. Maria Siemionow performed a reconstructive facial transplant on Connie in 2008. Dr. Siemionow’s efforts resulted in an impressive result: Connie recovered with a nose, cheeks, and smooth skin.

Within a year of the procedure, Connie regained the ability to smell – smell! A sense she’d long lost was recreated through the (sense)ational efforts of doctor Maria’s team. Not only did Connie regain a sense of smell, but she also gained the ability to eat food again. Full steaks. Apples. Spaghetti Carbonara.

7. Carmen Blandin Tarleton 

via nydailynews.com