Must Read: Young Man Gets New Life: Face Transplant Provides New Look To Andy Sandness!

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Feb 20, 2017 12:25 AM EST

Believe it or not, but 'miracle' is the key word for a person who gets new life with rare face transplant surgery. Yes, Andy Sandness now has a new face.

STAT News reported that Andy Sandness, a man of 31, lost his actual face because of his own blunder. Just before the Christmas in 2006 he drank too much. After the supper, he grabbed a rifle and positioned it just under his chin and pulled the trigger.

Just after the incident, Andy Sandness understood that he had done a terrible thing. The police arrived and rushed him to the hospital. First, he got treatment from two hospitals and then shifted to the Mayo Clinic.

Andy Sandness was desperate to survive. He got a positive answer very quickly from Dr. Samir Mardini, a plastic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and a specialist in facial construction. The doctor assured the 31-year-old man to be strong as he had to undergo a lengthy facial transplant surgery.

The truth is it was not possible to bring back the real face of Andy Sandness, so the doctors need a donor get a new face and to perform the surgeries. Fox News reported that after the shocking incident the patient had a mouth with only one inch wide. The length and size were too small for a spoon.

Andy Sandness used to break food into pieces and sucked them until he could swallow the pieces. He even wore a prosthetic nose whenever he went outdoors. After the incident, he attended the Mayo Clinic for several years.

The good news came in 2012 when Dr. Samir Mardini informed Andy Sandness that he could be the ideal patient for the face transplant program of May Clinic. The 31-year-old man has to wait three more years as Mayo Clinic needed the time to get the face transplant program approved. The man was aware of the probable side effects of the surgery.

Andy Sandness knew the side effects of anti-rejection drugs, but he kept his patience and courage. He had to wait five years to get the right donor with matching tissues and blood. At last, United Network for Organ Sharing added his name in 2016.

The donor was a 21-year-old healthy man who committed suicide by shooting himself. His wife, at last, became ready to donate the body of her husband, as it was his wish. The doctors then prepared Andy Sandness for the face transplant surgery on June 16, 2016.

Dr. Samir Mardini said that before every step of the surgery the doctors' team thought 1,000 times. They spent more than three years and used 3-D imagining to plot the surgery. It was necessary to cut the bones of the donor's face properly so that they would fit perfectly on the face of Andy Sandness.

Dr. Samir Mardini and his team removed the dead tissues and bones of the face of Andy Sandness. The team then used titanium plates and screws to connect the facial bones. The doctors took bone and muscle from hip to reconstruct the jaw.

The team used sutures and wires to construct the eyelids of Andy Sandness. The surgery lasts for 56 hours and became a lesson for 60 surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and others who gathered there. The surgery started on Friday midnight and ended on Monday morning.

 After the first surgery, Andy Sandness experienced seven more surgeries. He returned home after eight surgeries that took time for more than four months. He is now a happy man with a new face and living in his home in Wyoming, Newcastle.


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