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  • Writer's picturePipes

My Highlights From 'Face-to-Face'

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Here's some of my kindle highlights from 'Face-to-Face'- see an earlier post for a review.

'fanatical attention to detail and relentless striving for perfection'- about being a OMFS

'Now imagine how it feels when, after microsurgery, the person you remember, but had given up all hope of ever seeing again, is once more looking back at you from the mirror. Knowing my team has helped to bring about such a transformation, rebuilding not just a face but a life, is a truly wonderful feeling. We have helped countless individuals over the years, but a patient’s joy after a successful procedure – a joy which we are privileged to share – still brings a lump to every throat. It’s why I became a maxillofacial surgeon in the first place and why I still feel the same excitement as I approach the operating theatre today as I did when I was a young trainee twenty-five years ago.'- pretty self-explanatory

'One of the most famous sayings in our world is that good surgeons know how to operate, better ones when to operate, and the best when not to operate at all.'- again, pretty self explanatory

'I often quip to my patients that my job is to make them better, or at least not make them worse, and where possible always claim the credit for their recovery.' -highlights the difficulty of actually curing a patient

'Decisions in such cases must always be collective, with the doctor (or more often today a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and specialist nurses) advising on the best clinical course of action and the consequences if it is followed – and if it is not – but with a fully informed and autonomous patient having the right to accept the treatment or reject it in the light of their own wishes and personal circumstances.'- highlights important ideas such as teamwork and patient autonomy

'constraints would make it an unusually stressful procedure – for me as well as the patient' -in the context of how a patient's religious beliefs made the operation more difficult than it needed to be

‘Architects look at their failures, surgeons have to bury theirs’.- ie death

‘Every surgeon carries about him a little cemetery, in which from time to time he goes to pray, a cemetery of bitterness and regret, in which he seeks the reason for certain of his failures.’- more death

'The million-dollar question is, how much of the NHS’s ever-dwindling pool of time, workforce and resources should we actually be allocating to patients whose lifestyles mean that they are effectively suffering from self-inflicted wounds?' -ethical issues

'The transplantation of human facial tissues, however, continues to provoke ethical anxieties. But patients undergoing this form of reconstructive surgery around the world have regularly described the enormous transformation they have undergone in their lives after the transplantation of a new face, and it is important to realize, as pointed out by one of the surgeons who recently completed such a procedure, that these patients have actually in their lives had three different faces. They were born with a normal human face, they then sustained horrific damage to it and had to learn to cope with the altered version which was so abnormal that members of the public would stand, stare, point and even be horrified by the sight of it, and then an operation gave them a third, more normal-looking face. As a result, life began again for them.'

'A further ethical debate surrounds patients who, like Chrissy, have been blinded by facial trauma, leading critics to ask, in that event, for whose benefit the facial transplant has actually been carried out. They argue that blind people cannot see the reactions of those around them in public places or even in private, and thus are not exposed to the horrific feeling of being outcasts from human society. If that is the case, they say, why operate to give the blind person a new face when, quite apart from all the attendant risks of the procedure itself, the effects of immuno-suppressive drugs will also almost certainly shorten their lives?' -in depth look into an ethical issue

'Helping restore the human face still feels like one of the most powerful gifts a surgeon can bestow.' -why OMFS and dentistry is so important

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