There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for an appropriate face transplant donor, and we work closely with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) to help us with this challenging search. Here are just a few of the characteristics that we evaluate:
- There is a limit to the age discrepancy between the recipient and the donor. The donor can be as much as 20 years younger to as much as 10 years older than the recipient.
- Skin color and texture should be similar to that of the donor.
- Time is of the essence when recovering facial tissue from a donor, so the donor must be located within a four-hour travel radius of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
- The donor's family must provide consent. Self consent to organ and tissue donation, such as can be done on a motor vehicle license application, does not apply to face tissue donation.