By MICHAEL KALLANDANISAssociated PressAn employee helps a patient in a facelifted surgery at a facelsink surgery center in Santa Ana, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2019.
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)By MICHAEL KLALLANDALLANDAP: APAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — In a new era of technology, doctors are using the latest and greatest surgery procedures to help patients regain some of the function lost in a facial transplant, even if it involves some degree of facial reconstruction.
The Associated Press has identified about 20 facial-transplant procedures that are being used on a growing number of patients, some who were lost in the recent coronavirus pandemic.
The surgeries, called facelifting or face transplantations, are sometimes performed on people with severe facial trauma or congenital defects.
They are performed on patients who are already recovering and do not have the capacity to do so themselves.
Most of the surgeries are being done on patients with congenital facial deformities and those with complex facial structures that require significant skin grafting.
Facelifts are also being used in the face transplant program that aims to treat patients who have lost their full facial features due to complications from a heart attack, stroke or other medical condition.
The most popular surgeries are face transplants on patients already in remission.
The most common outcomes are the patient regaining full facial expression, but some face transplans can be successful in people who have not recovered full facial expressions.
Facial-transplanted surgeries also are being performed on some of those who have undergone face transplanements, including some with a congenital deformity or congenitally modified facial structure.
Some patients who lose the ability to maintain facial expression or full expression also are getting face transplanas for facial reconstructive surgery, though it’s unclear whether they will recover full facial emotions or not.
The number of surgeries being performed in the U.S. is expected to grow by about 3,000 per year.
Many are performed at private facilities.
The procedures typically take a year or more and are usually performed on a small patient group.
The surgeries are often conducted at the request of family members or caregivers.
Doctors say most face transplannes are done by the surgeon on the operating table, which includes a large surgical blade, a scalpel, a laser and an instrument called a facial scanner.
The face transplant surgery involves stitching together two or more layers of skin, usually using a laser.
The skin graft is usually done on the patient’s face to form a bridge, then the skin grafts are then glued together, creating a mask that allows the patient to breathe normally.
The surgeon uses a small knife to shave a portion of the face that can be made to appear natural or made to resemble the patient, such as with a facial mask.
After the skin is cut off, the mask is made from the remaining skin.
Facial masks can cost hundreds of dollars.