Transforming a life: Mayo Clinic announces its first face transplant

Mayo Clinic surgeons performing first face transplant

FACE TRANSPLANT: THE PATIENT

“It sank in that I’m finally normal again," Andy Sandness says, after the simple act of stepping into an elevator and blending in for the first time in more than a decade. "It felt awesome." Sandness says his life had become quite restricted – socially and functionally – since being severely injured by a gunshot wound in 2006. “But, now, I can go back and enjoy my life like I used to," he says. Dennis Douda has more about the patient. 

Journalists: Video pkg (5:03) is in the downloads. Read the script. Watch the video below.

FACE TRANSPLANT: THE SURGERY

In the three years leading up to Mayo Clinic’s first face transplant, dozens of medical specialists spent more than 50 Saturdays in a human anatomy lab refining their surgical techniques and developing their approach. The transplant team rehearsed the full operation more than 30 times. From the Mayo Clinic News Network, Dennis Douda has a detailed look at how they achieved a remarkable transformation with a complex surgery. 

Journalists: Video pkg (7:14) is in the downloads. Read the script. Watch the video below.

LifeSource, the not-for-profit organ and tissue procurement agency that helped to coordinate the donation, introduces us to the donor in this video.