Most complex face transplant- 2015
By: Allie Dettmann
A life Transformed:
Firefighter Patrick Hardison had a roof collapse on him while he was on duty as a volunteer firefighter in 2001. When he was still inside of the burning building, Hardison's helmet got knocked off and his facial mask started to melt. He quickly jumped out of the closest widow but didn't make it out soon enough to save his face. His eyelids, lips, ears, most of his nose, and his hair was entirely lost. This incident left him with 3rd degree burns all over his body and across his entire face. The burns that Hardison endured were so severe that he was unable to close his eyes completely. After the fire Hardison had no normal tissue left in any portion of his face. Over 14 years, from 2001 to 2015, the doctors at New York University developed new technology that would make it possible to complete the largest facial transplant ever attempted. In August of 2015 a team of more than 100 doctors, nurses, and technical assistants spent over 26 hours on Hardison's new face. In total, Hardison underwent over 70 surgeries to help his face return to its past form.
How was Hardison's surgery was preformed:
There were two operating rooms that adjoined with each other, one for the donor and one for Hardison. Bones, facial tissues, and facial features (eyes, lips, etc.) were taken from the donor and sewn delicately onto Hardison's face. Surgeons used a new technique called 3d modeling on the computer which allowed them to visualize the donors face and Hardison's face at the same time. This made it possible for the surgeons to see what the reconstruction surgery was going to look like for Hardison. Weeks after the surgery hair started to grow back on Hardison's face and the color in his skin started to be restored to its natural color.