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The successes have led more hospitals to approve face transplant protocols.
"We're currently screening patients," said Dr. Joseph Losee of the University of Pittsburgh. Carefully selecting appropriate patients "is the most important thing," he said.
So far, only two face transplant-related deaths have been reported, said Dr. John Barker, former director of plastic surgery research at the University of Louisville who is now a reconstructive medicine researcher at the University of Frankfurt in Germany.
One was a Chinese man who reportedly was not given or did not take medicines to prevent his body from rejecting his new face. The other was in Paris, a man who received a face and a double hand transplant. He suffered a heart attack during surgery to address a complication, Barker said.
Overall, "I think it's gone fabulously," he said of face transplantation. "It is a clinical alternative now, not experimental," he said. "It's been done and it works. For a select group of patients, it is a viable treatment."
Chimp attack woman: http://bit.ly/kcxTfi
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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