More partial face transplants performed

August 22, 2008 2:09:30 PM PDT
World surgeons that have performed partial face transplants report that their techniques are surprisingly effective. In Friday's issue of The Lancet, doctors say face transplants could become as common as kidney or liver transplants.

Surgeons say the transplants can restore sensation, movement and communication for injured or paralyzed patients up to two years after surgery.

They admit there are risks and further work needs to be done, but experts say the biggest obstacle is more social than scientific.

For them, the real question is whether someone is willing to be a donor, or to allow a family member to donate their face.