BAPRAS comments on 80% facial transplant in the US

Media statement- 6 May 2009

BAPRAS, the voice of plastic surgery in the UK, welcomed the success of the 80% facial transplant in the US. It says that improvements in techniques and medical research mean that the UK is ready to conduct a face transplant when the right donor and candidate are found.

Commenting on the completion of the face transplant for Connie Culp in the US, Hamish Laing, consultant plastic surgeon and spokesperson for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said:

“This case is particularly significant as it’s the world’s first near total facial transplant. Developments in plastic surgery and immunology techniques mean that something as this is now possible. Face transplants can give back a life to a patient who has been horribly scarred by burns, tumour or trauma as in this case.

“However, we must acknowledge the long-term medical risks, such as transplant rejection and the need for life-long medication, associated with the procedure. There is also the potential of psychological impact following such a transplant.

“As with any surgery, it must be in the patient’s best interest and it is only when an appropriate patient and donor have been found, that the first UK facial transplant will take place.

“The plastic surgery team at The Royal Free Hospital London, led by BAPRAS member Prof Peter Butler have carefully investigated the risks associated with this procedure and have been given ethical approval to proceed pending patient need and a suitable donor.”



BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.

Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has over 800 members and is the professional representative body for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK.

Members of the public can find a member plastic surgeon in their area by logging on to Anyone can check the GMC to find out if a surgeon is on the plastic surgery specialist register.