A 33 year-old Polish man, identified only as Grzegorz, was the recent recipient of the fastest face transplant to date after suffering horrible disfigurement and personal injuries in a work accident three weeks ago.
According to the man’s doctors, this was the fastest time-frame to date for a face transplant, which is an extremely complicated operation that requires extensive preparation.
Grzegorz was working in a stonemason’s workshop back in April when a stone-cutting machine crushed his upper jaw and horribly disfigured his face. He was immediately admitted into the intensive care unit at a hospital in Wroclaw, Poland where doctors first attempted to replant his own face.
After the replant of Grzegorz’s face failed, he was taken to the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice to undergo a new face transplant. The hospital is the only licensed facility in Poland to undertake face transplants and facial reconstructions.
Due to Grzegorz’s rapidly deteriorating condition, an immediate transplant became the only option. Just three weeks following Grzegorz’s work site accident, doctors performed a 27-hour face and bone transplant after a donor was found.
The surgery reconstructed Grzegorz’s face, upper and lower jaws, palate and the bottoms of his eye sockets. Doctors say the speedy transplant was his only chance at survival.
Surgeon Michal Grajek said that despite the quick life-saving procedure, Grzegorz still runs a high risk of infection because the team was unable to cure any infections in the donor tissue.
Grzegorz remains in sterile isolation for the time being, and will need to take immuno-suppressant drugs for the rest of his life so that his immune system will not reject the donated face.
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