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The Hampshire woman faces difficult options as her body rejects a face transplant



Carmen Blandin Tartleton doesn't want to go back. She is fighting for a third party.

Tarleton, 12 years removed from the assault of her estranged husband with a baseball bat and alkali that burned most of her body, received part of her life back after dozens of surgeries and a face transplant in 2013. She could play the piano. And a synthetic cornea helped her see with one eye that allowed her to find her way around Manchester, New Hampshire.

For years, the contours of her new face have swelled into episodes of rejection that doctors have successfully treated. But now, at 51

, with her blood vessels cut off and her facial tissue darkening and dying, Tarleton's immune system completely rejects her face.

This forced her to face two difficult options: get another person or if the tissue she quickly disintegrates, undergoes a reconstruction of her original face – and returns to the disfigurement she left after six years.

"We all know we're in uncharted waters," she told the Boston Globe. "I'd rather not have to experience catastrophic failure."

Transplanted organs, such as the kidneys, hearts, and lungs, usually have a limited life span in their new bodies. But doctors warn that the field of face transplants is still experimental, with no long-term studies or risk assessments to guide surgeons in a procedure that has been performed only about 40 times worldwide, The Associated Press reported.

"There are so many unknowns and so many new things that we are discovering," "Bogdan Pomahak, director of plastic surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston and one of Tarleton's surgeons, told the Globe." it is not realistic to hope that individuals will continue their lives [the patient’s]. "

Brian Gastman, a transplant surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic who led the first transplant of a person in the United States in 2008, told the Globe that there have been more transplants missed in the years since the procedure "We all believe that every patient is likely to need a re-transplant," at one point, he said.

No transplant patients in the United States have lost their donations, The AP reports, however, that a man in France received a second transplant after his body rejected the first transplant. which burned 80 percent of the body o her and left her legally blind.

She underwent nearly 40 operations for three months, reported "Globus". Dozens of transfusions shocked her immune system and when she received a donor neck and fa on her skin, nose, lips and sheaf of muscles, nerves and arteries, her new face bombarded her immune system.

Her doctors come up with a dangerous solution: Turn off your immune system to give your new face a chance, but leave it at risk of infection.

This worked and she was able to move on with her life. Now it involves grandchildren.

But now she is awaiting a decision whether to proceed with another transplant or to return to her disfigured person. Her doctors are encouraged by her restored immune system. But there were other problems. Her synthetic cornea failed, leaving her almost completely blind. She is applying for a guide dog.

"These are not common things that go wrong, but when things go wrong, you have to deal with it," she told the Globe. "I'll be back where I was. How, I don't know. I will overcome this. & # 39; & # 39;

Still, transplantation relieves a great deal of pain for Tarleton, who suffers from scars on her neck that impede her movement. One year after the transplant, she reduced her pain medication. In the years since, she wrote a memoir and snatched a banjo.

She also spends time at her piano, where she broadcasts songs such as the classic "Eagles" Desperado, uncertain which face to greet her grandchildren in the future.

– The Washington Post


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