A Simultaneous Scalp/Skull and Solid Organ Transplant

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55 year old James Boysen is the first patient to receive a craniofacial tissue transplant, while simultaneously receiving a kidney-pancreas transplant. The surgery took 15 hours and was done at Houston Methodist Hospital by a team led by Jesse C. Selber, MD and A. Osama Gaber, MD.

Boysen, who had been suffering of diabetes since age 5, had the original double-organ transplant in 1992. In 2006, Boysen was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer of the smooth muscle, on his scalp. Chemotherapy and radiation were successful in treating the cancer, but left a large wound on his head that included the scalp and thickness of his skull down to the brain.

As Boysen’s organs were failing, the surgeons made a decision to transplant the organs, skull, and scalp at the same time and using the same donor as this offered the best chance of preventing organ and tissue rejection.

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