Sensation returns even when nerves aren't repaired in facial transplants

05/19/2011 | Modern Medicine

Sensation after facial transplantation is better than that achieved by grafting, even when nerves responsible for sensation are not attached, according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Plastic surgeon Maria Z. Siemionow studied four face transplant patients, only one of whom had sensory nerves directly repaired, and found that sensation returned to normal or near-normal levels within a year. "Face transplantation is the only clinical condition where, in the absence of sensory nerve repair, good functional outcome is achieved despite severe trauma causing soft tissue and sensory nerve damage," Siemionow and her co-authors wrote.

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