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SUCCESSFUL FULL FACE The first published study on the process of the full face transplant offers new hope in reconstructive surgery

SURGEONS DESCRIBE THREE In an effort to advance the field of face

transplantation, Pomahac et al document the novel processes involved in a successful face transplant programme from screening candidates to the transplant procedure itself, and the follow- up management of the recipients. Researchers describe the rigorous screening

researchers describe details of patient preparation, novel design and execution of the operation, as well as immunosuppression protocol allowing for lowest long-term maintenance drug regimen. They also share details of the early functional outcomes and demonstrate FFT as a viable option in the treatment of severe facial deformities and injuries in their article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 'Unlike conventional reconstruction, facial


transplantation seeks to transform severely deformed features to a near-normal appearance and function that conventional reconstructive plastic surgical techniques cannot match,' said lead author D. Bohdan Pomahac, Director of the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at BWH, and lead surgeon in all three FFT procedures.

N MARCH 2011, A SURGICAL TEAM AT Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) performed the first full face transplantation (FFT) in the US and went on to complete a total of three. Now, in the first published research to evaluate FFT in the US, the

and consent process that each patient must pass, which includes evaluation by a team of physicians who determine whether the patient is physically and mentally prepared for the procedure. Once a candidate is approved, BWH physicians work closely with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) to identify the criteria for suitable donors and the process for obtaining consent for this unique transplantation. The researchers then outline the details of the

surgeries with a focus on the multidisciplinary efforts of clinicians. Surgeons and staff coordinate tasks while preparing the recipient and simultaneously retrieving the donor tissue within a limited time frame. The researchers describe the similarities and difference between each procedure, noting the differences that occurred in the one FFT recipient who also concurrently received a bilateral hand transplant. Following the surgery, physicians monitor and

adjust immunosuppressants while methodically screening for any signs of organ rejection. 'Our focus moving forward continues to be on

monitoring and documenting the progress of patients who have undergone FFT, and refining the use of immunosuppressants, with the hope that one day patients will eventually need to take little or none,' said Pomahac.

New appointment at Elastagen

Elastagen, a clinical stage medical device company that is pioneering Elastatherapy™ using the human protein Elastin to naturally repair and augment the skin, is pleased to announce the appointment of Xavier Yon to its Board, as a Non-Executive Director. Xavier Yon is a seasoned healthcare

executive with an extensive background in dermatology. Previous roles include executive positions with Pfizer, Solvay, Alcon and most notably as CEO of Galderma for 17 years. More recently he has served as a Director of Graceway Pharmaceuticals (USA), which was acquired by Medicis, he is a board member of Photocure (Norway), a pioneer of Photo Dynamic Therapy and, Virbac (France), a global leader in animal health. 'Xavier’s appointment is another

significant milestone for Elastagen as we continue the clinical development of our Elastatherapy™ products for the cosmetic and medical dermatology markets,' said Andrew Sneddon, Chairman of Elastagen. Following his appointment, Xavier

Yon stated, 'It is a great pleasure to join Elastagen and I look forward to working with the Board and management to drive this important project forward. Elastagen has a very strong team, a solid scientific base, and is developing what promises to be the next generation of skin treatments for the aesthetic dermatology market. Elastin is a key component of healthy skin and it is exciting to see these new treatments emerging.'

BOTOX® receives licence extension from MHRA for glabellar lines

Allergan last month announced that its BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A) product, approved for eight therapeutic indications in the UK, has been granted a licence extension from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to include the treatment of moderate to severe glabellar lines. Allergan’s VISTABEL® (botulinum toxin type A) product, which is the

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same formulation as Allergan’s BOTOX® product, but marketed under a different brand name to delineate between the aesthetic and medical uses, was the first botulinum toxin medicine to receive a licence in the UK in 2006 for the treatment of glabellar (frown) lines. The inclusion of the product’s aesthetic indication in the BOTOX® therapeutic label means that medical aesthetic health professionals in the UK can now

January/February 2012 |

offer patients the BOTOX® product specifically to temporarily improve the appearance of glabellar lines. Dan Stewart, Business Unit

Director for Allergan Medical in the UK, says: 'As the botulinum toxin marketplace expands, it is vital that both health professionals and consumers alike understand that not all toxins are BOTOX®. The evidence shows that no two toxins are the same and the unit doses

differ by product, so there is distinct guidance for every toxin that practitioners need to understand. The new aesthetic licence for BOTOX® for glabellar lines reduces any potential for confusion among health professionals and consumers, as physicians can now offer the original BOTOX® branded product from Allergan to patients seeking aesthetic treatment using its unique, widely recognised brand name.'

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