At a press conference to be held at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Monday, April 2, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, Dallas Wiens, the first person in the United States to receive a full face transplant, will speak to the media. Wiens will talk to the media about his post-transplant experiences as a father, as well as his work related to the humanitarian foundation he founded called the About Face Foundation.
The facial area of the patient Dallas Wiens was completely replaced by the team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents over the course of more than 15 hours of labor. This process included the replacement of the patient’s nose, lips, facial skin, muscles of facial movement, and nerves that power them and provide feeling.
After having conversations with the donor’s family, the professionals at New England Organ Bank were able to secure their consent for the donation of the tissue graft taken from the donor’s face. The act of registering one’s driver’s license as an organ and tissue donor is not recognized as valid consent for face donation; rather, the consent of the donor’s family is necessary.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is recognized as a frontrunner in the field of advocating and carrying out this potentially life-saving operation. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Face Transplant Program is actively seeking appropriate individuals for face transplantation and is supported by a grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) of the United States. Find out more information regarding the face transplant surgery program that is offered at BWH as well as the research that led to the breakthrough.
Today, Brigham and Women’s Hospital is widely regarded as one of the most advanced transplant centers in the world.
In 1954, a team from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital led by Dr. Joseph Murray successfully performed the first human organ donor transplant, which was a kidney transplant from one brother to another. Dr. Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in the year 1990 for the work that he had completed in this field.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is responsible for performing the first heart transplant in New England in 1984. This year, the hospital successfully completed the 600th heart transplant.
In 1992, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital was the location of the very first heart-lung transplant in the state of Massachusetts.
In 1995 and 2004, respectively, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital was also responsible for performing the first triple organ transplant and the first quintuple lung transplant in the United States.
In 2008, more than 30 lung transplants were performed at BWH, placing it among the top hospitals in the US for volume. In 2006, the hospital accomplished a milestone by doing one hundred kidney transplants in a single year for the first time in its history.