Mayo Clinic: Surgeons complete near-total face transplant
A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians and other health professionals recently completed a near-total face transplant on a Wyoming man on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. The extensive, life-changing surgery will improve the patient's ability to chew, swallow, speak, breathe and smell. The recipient, Andrew Sandness, is a 32-year-old man from eastern Wyoming whose face was devastated by a gunshot wound at the age of 21. He is doing well.

"I am absolutely amazed at the outcome so far," says Sandness. "I am now able to chew and eat normal food, and the nerve sensation is slowly improving, too. My confidence has improved, and I'm feeling great - and grateful. I am so thankful to my donor and the donor's family, and to all of the people who have supported me throughout this process."

The care team led by Samir Mardini, M.D., and Hatem Amer, M.D., the surgical director and medical director, respectively, for Mayo Clinic Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery. The team includes specialists from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Transplant Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Pharmacy, Regenerative Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Rehabilitation, and Speech and Language Pathology. The team also includes staff from LifeSource, the federally-designated nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest.