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Patrik Lassus (left), Markku Mäkijärvi, Jyrki Törnwall, Hannu Kuokkanen and Hannu Jalanko commented on the first face transplant procedure in Finland and the Nordics at a press conference in Helsinki on 22 February, 2016.A 21-hour surgery that will go down in history was performed at the Töölö Hospital in Helsinki earlier this year.

Roughly a dozen surgeons and two dozen nurses participated in what was the first face transplant surgery performed in Finland and the Nordics, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) states in a press release.

A face transplant is a very challenging surgical operation that is only performed as a last resort on patients with extensive facial damage, HUS points out. In the operation, the damaged tissue is replaced surgically with the facial tissue of a brain-dead donor.

It currently seems that the surgery was a success. “The patient has recovered according to plan, but the functionality of the transplanted tissue and the possible rejection reaction are being monitored carefully,” states HUS.

HUS began its preparatory work on transplant surgeries a number of years ago. More than 30 doctors from various fields of medicine have contributed to the preparatory work after the appointment of the task force on facial tissue transplantation in 2011.

The surgery performed at the Töölö Hospital was the 35th of its kind in the world. The first face transplant in the world was carried out in France in 2005.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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