Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, chief of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says it's a matter of when, not if.
But face transplants won't be for cosmetic reasons. Lee says face transplants make sense when surgeons can't adequately rebuild the faces of people who have been disfigured.
He says a key in a successful face transplant would be the ability to wean patients from powerful anti-rejection drugs.
Other surgeons say there should be a national policy on face transplants before the procedure becomes a reality. They note face transplants would carry significant psychological and social ramifications.
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