Psychological and Psychosocial Aspects of Face Transplantation

  • Kathy L. Coffman


The first face transplant was performed in 2005 raising ethical and psychological issues only conjectured about until then. The number of face transplant recipients has continued to grow worldwide, to 39 known by the end of 2017. Unfortunately, the data being gathered about psychological outcomes tends to be descriptive rather than through systematic use of standardized rating instruments. Despite the data quality, there is reason for optimism regarding improved social integration for face transplant recipients. The risk of cancers and specter of chronic rejection with possible loss of the graft reflect the downside of face transplantation, as with solid organ grafts. However, the loss of the face once restored or even part of the graft is a devastating outcome, experienced by a few recipients at this point. Overall there is reason to be optimistic about the psychological adaptation of FT recipients.


Facial transplantation Composite organ transplantation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathy L. Coffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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