An unparalleled team of Cleveland Clinic physicians, surgeons, basic and clinical research scientists, bioethicists and support staff have combined their expertise to launch the Center for Reconstructive Transplantation. With seed money from government and private sources, the center is endeavoring to improve services, access and care for patients who have experienced extensive and complex tissue loss due to disease or trauma.
Massive loss of complex tissues due to traumatic injury or degenerative disease causes devastating loss of physical and social function in its victims. In some cases, such as loss of facial or abdominal wall tissue (where prosthesis is either unavailable or insufficient to restore physical integrity and function) patients may face dozens of surgical reconstructions. These surgeries are associated with additional pain and loss of function and rarely result in an acceptable outcome.
Reconstructive transplantation, also called composite tissue allograft, offers an alternative to traditional surgical reconstruction that can restore natural function to these patients, allowing them to regain their daily living independence. Reconstructive transplantation involves the transplanting of intact tissues (such as hands, faces, abdominal walls, larynges, etc) from a deceased donor to a living recipient. Because these tissues are replaced with their functional equivalents, the recipient patients are able to regain both structure and function that is impossible with other surgical reconstructions.
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