1125 GMT January 26, 2020
At present, Iranian specialists are capable of performing plastic surgery on all parts and organs of the body, said the secretary of the Iranian Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons (ISPAS).
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Hamidreza Fathi, who is a plastic surgeon, added carrying out face transplant is also currently scientifically, technically and technologically possible in Iran.
Commenting on the historical background of performing face transplants in the world, he said the surgery was done for the first time in 2005 in the northern French city of Amiens. That surgical operation involved transplanting a brain-dead person’s mandible, jaw muscles and lower lip to another individual.
Fathi said following that case, however, the technique for performing such surgeries was improved considerably, adding at present, a limited number of complete face transplants are performed across the world.
“It is currently possible to do the surgery in Iran. Even prior to performing the first face transplant in Amiens, a protocol on doing such surgeries had been written in Iran. Nevertheless, carrying out face transplants is still faced with a number of legal and Islamic issues in Iran.”
He stressed that, “It is not technically a difficult process for us to do a full face transplant from one person to another. However, the main issue in performing such a surgery is the recipient’s immune system, which may force the body to reject the transplanted tissue or organ. To resolve this problem, a large number of very expensive medicines are needed.”
In the absence of such expensive medicines, the recipient’s immune system will destroy the transplanted face in less than two weeks, Fathi said.
Face transplant is different from surgical operations involving transplantation of other organs and parts of the body, he noted.
“For instance, in a kidney transplant, we are histologically dealing with only one tissue. In this surgery, transplant rejection can be prevented by administering an immunosuppressive drug. Nevertheless, in a full face transplant, we deal with a complex tissue. During this surgery, all the nerves, arteries and veins of different parts of the face must be transplanted, which requires administering a large number of immunosuppressive drugs.”
Describing as high the quality of plastic surgeries in Iran compared to those in other countries of the region, Fathi said these surgical operations are among the most important and riskiest surgeries currently performed across the world.
“Iran has a large number of highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeons, which makes it a popular destination for patients from other countries, particularly those from the Persian Gulf littoral states.”
Describing rhinoplasty as one of the most common plastic surgeries in Iran, he noted that, “That is why a large number of physicians and individuals failing to have the requisite specialty are performing the operation in the country.”
This comes as the surgery must be done by highly experienced surgeons, Fathi stressed.
“We seek to work out a legal solution to prevent non-specialists from performing plastic surgeries.”