2 years after face transplant, Andy Sandness’ smile shows his progress

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Ah copying Craver as well, it’s been two and a half years. No, we were just here yesterday, so Andy sianis is finally living the life he hoped I don’t. Get that looks like I used to I mean I’ve been to sit down, eat normally drink.

Normally he enjoys the little things I mean. I can smell pretty good. I mean my. My taste is better than my smell for sure things. Most of us take for granted what I like is just being able to smile and then able to have the lip movement and being able to kiss things that a few years ago he didn’t know would be possible for him.

I made a huge list of all my goals of what I wanted it. I wanted function more than anything. The aesthetic work, ambitious goals, considering the results of face transplants are so variable and unpredictable.

This is what we’re, going to connect all the nerves, because I think we’re. You know some of these are tears. Of Swift is not connected every nerve, so that’s. Why my surgery took 56 hours? He is dr. Samir martini, the Mayo Clinic surgeon who led a team of dozens that pulled off andis transplant together, they spent more than 50 Saturdays over a three-year period planning and practicing every step of the surgery with the team of surgeons, nurses, surgical technicians and anesthesiologists.

They practiced the nerve surgery. Every time we identified on the donor, all the facial nerve branches supplying the area of the face that was transplanted. We we took pictures with videotape. We we we studied what every little branch of those nerves did for the face, and we did the same thing on our patient on Andy.

Connecting them all was a tedious process. So when we came to connect the nerves together, we had to make sure that every nerve branch matched the perfect nerve branch from the donor and the recipient, so that the function is exactly what Andy will try to do when he’s doing his Daily life, so if he wants to smile, he thinks about smiling.

It goes from his nerveless smile to the donor nerve for smile, and it creates a smile for Andy. It was that tedious work connecting the nerves that he thinks made all the difference. I was invited. One day to grow just starting the guy says: oh man, what happened? It was soon after his surgery when his scars were more noticeable and the nerves were still regenerating.

Did you get in the car wreck? I know man, it’s a little bit. A little bit bigger than that that was our goal, so success for us was measured in multiple fronts, but ultimately, success is Andy, walking into store not being noticed as someone abnormal in any way talking to the person of the counter.

They talked him back. They don’t think twice about him and he moves on his date. That’s, a success to us and that’s. What we were able to achieve with in this case perfect it’s. What Andy? Always wanted to be just another face in the crowd just going into a restaurant of their stores, or I mean I feel normal and nobody stares like they used to I mean I just I can sit down.

I can talk. I can speak fairly clear. It’s, part of me that’s, like my face. Two-And-A-Half years later, the payoff from those extra hours in the operating room continues to grow, the nerves are still growing and his smile proof of success there’s.

No part of me that that’s, uncomfortable anymore, like when I’m walking to the restaurant, I’m, not uncomfortable or going to a store or see the kids or anybody that’s. That used to to scare me like, when those situations where you try to avoid this issue there’s, no situation that I don’t want to be in anymore, the Mayo Clinic News Network.

 

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