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Face Time: Educating Face Transplant Candidates

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Publisher
Open Science Company, LLC
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Journal Article
Disciplines
  • Education
  • Medicine

Abstract

Objective: Face transplantation is the innovative application of microsurgery and immunology to restore appearance and function to those with severe facial disfigurements. Our group aims to establish a multidisciplinary education program that can facilitate informed consent and build a strong knowledge base in patients to enhance adherence to medication regimes, recovery, and quality of life. Methods: We analyzed handbooks from our institution's solid organ transplant programs to identify topics applicable to face transplant patients. The team identified unique features of face transplantation that warrant comprehensive patient education. Results: We created a 181-page handbook to provide subjects interested in pursuing transplantation with a written source of information on the process and team members and to address concerns they may have. While the handbook covers a wide range of topics, it is easy to understand and visually appealing. Conclusions: Face transplantation has many unique aspects that must be relayed to the patients pursuing this novel therapy. Since candidates lack third-party support groups and programs, the transplant team must provide an extensive educational component to enhance this complex process. Practice Implications: As face transplantation continues to develop, programs must create sound education programs that address patients’ needs and concerns to facilitate optimal care.

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