The face transplant, formally called a vascularized composite allograft (VCA), was part of a 72-hour marathon of transplant activity at one of the busiest transplant centers in the world. The family of one anonymous donor generously donated his face and also saved five other lives through the heroic gift of organ donation. Four of these transplants took place over the course of two days at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The face transplant team was led by Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., D.D.S., associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Rodriguez is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as in oral and maxillofacial surgery. This marks the first time in the world that a full face transplant was performed by a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons with specialized training and expertise in craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery.