Doctors have recently discovered that the face used in a face transplant six years ago is showing tissue damage that will likely require its recipient to undergo a second groundbreaking surgery. Carmen Blandin Tarleton, 51, was brutally attacked by her estranged husband in 2007. He beat her with a baseball bat and doused her body in the chemical lye, leaving her with burns on over 80 percent of her body, including her face. Years later, she received a face transplant at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, from a woman who matched her age and skin type. Now she’s being evaluated for a possible second transplant after doctors found that some of the blood vessels to her face have narrowed and closed causing the tissue to die. “I had such a low quality of life prior to my face transplant. Do I wish it had lasted 10 or 20 years? Of course,” Tarleton told The Boston Globe. Face transplants are still a nascent science, and surgeons believe it is likely that all of the dozens of patients who have received them worldwide will eventually need a second transplant.
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