Cleveland Clinic Performs First US Face Transplant

Years of prep precede controversial treatment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2008 2:16 PM CST
The Cleveland Clinic is pictured in this 2005 file photo.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Doctors in Cleveland have successfully completed the nation’s first near-total facial transplant on a on a patient disfigured by traumatic injury, the Plain Dealer reports today. The hospital, which said the patient didn’t want to be identified, was the first in the US to approve the controversial procedure, which some consider too risky for a non-life threatening condition. Maria Siemionow, who led the operating team, argued that patients should be allowed to take their chances.