Plastic Surgery Face Transplant Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Plastic Surgery Research Plastic Surgery Face Transplant Research

Plastic Surgery Face Transplant Research

NYU Langone’s Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery face transplant research program is a clinical research study open to selected patients for the treatment of facial trauma or disfigurement, burns, and acquired malformations of the face.

The goal of our program is to restore function, movement, and sensation to the face, including in the eyes, lips, and mouth, and to improve the appearance of injured or malformed anatomical features. In August 2015, under the leadership of Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, department chair, we performed the most complex and comprehensive face transplantation to date, and the first in New York State. In January 2018, Dr. Rodriguez and team performed the second face transplantation at NYU Langone. The team was the first to perform a whole-eye and partial-face transplant.

To make face transplantation possible, our research team closely collaborates with several NYU Langone entities, including the Transplant Institute, the Department of Radiology, and the Division of Medical Ethics. We also work with NYU’s Department of Psychology.

Recent Achievements

Through our research, we have achieved several surgical milestones in facial transplantation, including the following:

  • transplantation of the ears and ear canals and selected bony structures from a donor, including the chin, cheeks, and entire nose
  • use of three-dimensional modeling, computerized modeling, and three-dimensional–printed patient-specific cutting guides designed from the recipient’s and the donor’s CT scans to achieve precise fitting of transplanted tissue and bony structures
  • precise placement of patient-specific surgical plates and screws to ensure the proper contour and symmetry of the transplanted face
  • injecting donor adult stem cells at the optic nerve connection of the recipient during a whole-eye and partial-face transplant in the hopes of enhancing nerve regeneration

Areas of Investigation

As our research in facial transplantation continues, active topics of investigation include the following:

  • improving surgical techniques in facial transplantation
  • enhancing and preserving the eyelids
  • meeting the nonsurgical challenges of facial transplantation
  • improving outcomes, through continued monitoring, in the face transplant recipients cared for by NYU Langone’s Face Transplant Program

Contact Us

If you are a patient or physician who would like more information about our face transplantation services, please contact us at 646-501-4481 or

Face Transplant Program

Our surgeons have performed the most extensive face transplant in New York State.

Further Details on Craniomaxillofacial Allotransplantation

Face Transplant Patient Stories

Hear from the patients who have received face transplants at NYU Langone.