Dear Nurse Dave,
I recently had the opportunity to catch the movie Face/Off on cable and I was wondering what your thoughts were considering the medical procedures taking place in the film?
Brandon, Atlanta, GA
Well Brandon it has been a while since I've seen the film but fortunately the entire plot of the film is summed up in the title. Nic Cage and John Travolta surgically switch faces. So I think your first question would be are face transplants possible? The answer is yes, Brandon they are happening. It isn't really a common procedure but a man that fell face first onto a electrified subway rail, a man burned by a power line, a lady attacked by a chimpanzee have all had face transplants. The first ever full face transplant was just performed a couple weeks ago. Word on that transplant is that it wasn't done to find the location of a bomb, the transplant was just done because the guy's face was pretty messed up.
Now Brandon I think your second question is implied and that question would be did I enjoy the movie? My answer would be it stars Nicolas Cage, how could I not enjoy it? The film makes the audience take a few leaps into the realm of ridiculous but I say just enjoy the ride. If you need to find a bomb of course you trade faces with a crazy terrorist, why not? But you need to be aware that that terrorist will probably wake up kill a bunch of people and then steal your face because what else is a terrorist going to do? Then film proceeds with the wild psychological ride of two men living each other's lives with each other's faces. It just about blows my mind every time I think about it. Really the film is more than entertainment because it gets right down into the nature of identity. What is it that makes you, you? Is it your face or is it something more?
Here's the trailer for those that haven't seen the film. Just to warn you the trailer features John Travolta's greatest monologue of all time.