For patients undergoing facial reconstruction following disfiguring cancer operations, a new technique pioneered by surgeons at University of California, San Francisco may enable them to look more like their former selves.

Typically, the use of skin from other parts of the body for facial skin reconstruction, has led to severe facial color mismatching. This contrast is most extreme in fair-skinned older adults whose faces are more deeply pigmented from lifelong cumulative sun damage. The new technique pairs skin grafts with auto-transplanted pigmented tissue, resulting in a much better facial color match.

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