A face transplant is a surgical procedure to replace all or part of a person’s face. In this case, practically all of Norris’ face transformed into an entirely new one due to the transplant of the donor’s skin tissues and facial features.
During the surgery, doctors first cut and peel away the donor's face. How much of the face is removed and transplanted is based on whether the procedure is a partial or full face transplant. Depending on the extent of the damage to the recipient's face, the surgeons will take not only the skin but also the underlying fat, muscle, cartilage, nerves, arteries and veins. Using microscopic needles and thread, surgeons will first connect arteries and veins to the new tissue to supply it with the oxygen-rich blood it needs to live. Just a few arteries and vein connection will ensure that enough blood flows to the face. The surgeons will also connect the nerves and muscles so that the patient has feeling and movement in his or her face. Doctors will drape the donor's face over the recipient's skull, adjust it to fit and sew it into place. The recipient will have to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his or her life to prevent tissue rejection.