Fact: It's 2014. The mega-awesome Nic Cage/John Travolta 90s thriller Face/Off came out years before the world's first successful face transplant ever happened.
Fact: Since 1997, medical technology has massively improved and totally changed the way we view scientific boundaries.
Hypothesis: With all the medicinal and technological advancements that the world has gone through since 1997... could it be possible for two people to switch faces, bodies and — effectively — lives? I had a chat with a world-renowned plastic surgeon from Boston, who requested to be referred to here only as "Dr. D" and kindly answered the burning questions I've had since age 10.
Could two people switch faces with each other?
Dr.D: "The answer is that, yes, there have been facial transplants. There was a woman in Connecticut who was mauled by a chimpanzee. It took off almost all of her face and she had a facial transplant. With two different people, though... ethically, it's impossible. The immorality behind that type of procedure is insane. Two people alive with each other's faces? Come on, that couldn't work. But, medically — yes it's possible."
What would be the impact?
Dr. D: "Like any organ transplant, it would take months to fully heal. I mean, you'd have to have the same blood type and a match. You'd need what's called an 'immune match' and you'd need a tissue match, too. It wouldn't be like Face/Off."
As far as the validity of Face/Off
is concerned — it's kinda, sorta, almost
possible. I mean, if Travolta and Cage had been complete blood and tissue matches and then spent months and months in bed after surgery... then yes, it's slightly possible. But the way the movie does it: lasers, drugs, explosions, doves... not so much. Does this make me reconsider my stance on how awesome Face/Off
is? No. Friggin. Way.
Jeremy Glass has been waiting for this article, in some form, his entire life.