Face transplant candidates go through an extensive screening process that is likely to last several months. This screening includes a psychiatric and social support evaluation and a series of imaging tests to help determine a patient’s physical and mental readiness for the procedure.
If, upon completion of the screening process, it is determined that a patient is a suitable candidate, we will place the patient on a transplant waiting list. We will then begin working with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) team to find a donor who matches the recipient’s tissue requirements – e.g., similar age, right blood type. This search could take many months, and, if a suitable donor is not found within one year, we will speak with the patient to determine whether they’re willing to continue waiting.
When a donor is found, we will immediately inform the patient about when to arrive at the hospital for the operation. As the timing for this type of procedure is extremely important, patients are expected to be readily available, i.e., reside within a 12-hour travel radius of BWH.