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Man Receives Artificial Face 24

jeffy124 writes: "Doctors in Kentucky have successfully implanted an artificial face. The surgery was required because of a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis in the man's sinus cavity that required removal his nose, eyes, cheekbones, upper jaw, and some teeth. The surgery required reconstruction of the mouth using tissue from his legs and facial bones were replaced with titanium bridging on which a prosthetic face is placed."
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Man Receives Artificial Face

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Only back then it was a silicone bridge.

    Seriously, though, how does this affect the medical world? It doesn't seem to revolutionize anything.

    "Man receives nervous system transplant"

    Now that would be a cool story.
  • by Phaid ( 938 ) on Monday February 04, 2002 @02:42PM (#2951293) Homepage
    This sort of thing is by no means new - there are ample cases of facial prostheses in use today []. It's not unknown to have cancer patients with similar, albeit less extensive, facial reconstruction necessary after surgery. The process is pretty similar, you implant magnets in the remaining bone structure, or attach them to a titanium superstructure implanted in the bone if the defect is very large, and attach a silicon prosthesis using those.

    There really are some amazing feats being performed every day by the medical profession. People should read more or at least watch the Discovery Channel on occasion, then they wouldn't be as surprised by things like this make CNN.
    • > The process is pretty similar, you implant magnets in the remaining bone structure, or attach them to a titanium superstructure implanted in the bone if the defect is very large, and attach a silicon[e] prosthesis using those.

      NOTICE: Under normal usage conditions, your NewFace(tm) is designed to give you and your significant other(s) many years of satisfaction. Note that in the event of suspected brain tumor requiring MRI scan for diagnosis, warranty on your NewFace(tm) is null and void.

  • Eeeuurrrggghhh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Prowl ( 554277 )
    am i the only one around here who nearly barfed at that story.

    i cannot begin to imagine what life must have been like for that bloke.

    it makes the latest kernel release seem pretty insignificant.
    • No, you're not. I found it odd to see several jokes posted so quickly and modded up so quickly.

      I heard about a russian man who had his face bitten off by a bear some years ago. He had one eye left, so he could function. The pictures were pretty gruesome - a big gaping hole in his face. The russian doctors couldn't do much, so he lived wearing a scarf over his face for a long time. Eventually, an american institution offered to create a face for him. I don't remember which institution it was. Might be the same one.

      But this guy that lost not just his face, both his eyes also... I shudder to think about it. It's remarkable that he had the will to go on like he did... thanks in part to a dream about his granddaughter.
    • am i the only one around here who nearly barfed at that story.

      The first time that I heard of this guy was on an episode of Ripley's beleive it or not. Unfortuneately, I was sitting at hooters eating chicken wings at the time. I lost my appetite pretty quickly...

      I think it's great that they can give the man back his face. I just wish they could give him back his eyesight or his sense of smell...
      • how far off are eye transplants? are they feasible, if a little beyond our technology? i heard of a experiment that turned the eyes of a frog upside down. it stumbled around but apparenty got used to it after a few days.
  • by pretoris ( 442079 ) on Monday February 04, 2002 @07:15PM (#2952743)
    This type of thing makes me think that the government should get that great big stick out their collective butts and let embryonic stem cell and controlled cloning continue. Now, whilst I don't care to have genetically identical copies of myself running around wouldn't it be great if we could grow this dude another face and graft it back on? Wouldn't be perfect for sure, but it would be much better than a silicone prosthetic. Not to mention that heart disease, liver disease et. al. patients could greatly benefit. When the government throwing up road blocks to this sort of thing they are merely hurting people, and delaying the inevitable.

    Then there's the "when is an embryo a person" debate that is best left elsewhere...
  • <Wilder>Hearts and kidneys are TINKERTOYS</Wilder>

    Guy's got a new face, but collection agencies calling every day asking for their money (RTFA). Not too cool. Friend of mine got stuck with $100k of medical bills after his health insurance company said nogo to paying for a partial pancreas removal. He was filing for bankruptcy right around the time he died in a diabetic coma (half a pancreas will do that to you.) Can you tell I'm bitter?

    Also, the article mentioned that he wears sunglasses to hide the fact that his "fake eyes don't blink." Article wasn't clear - was he blind, then?

    Still, cool story that a face can be "transplanted", so to speak.
  • That's a singularly horrible sounding disease - "Killer fungus ate my face."


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