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The first U.S. surgeon to perform a near-total face transplant, in December 2008, could well be expected to deliver a compelling account of the groundbreaking procedure at the Cleveland Clinic-the same place where a Connecticut woman horribly disfigured by a friend's chimpanzee is recovering and may herself become a candidate. But Siemionow's purpose is larger: to lay out "the history, labor, challenges and need" for such transplants.Polish-born Siemionow does so precisely and winningly as she charmingly weaves her own personal history into the mix. "Someday the young lady may become a good surgeon," she's told by the Belgian doctor to whom she's apprenticed in Europe. "I can't remember anything else that happened that day." The extraordinary achievement that followed nearly 30 years later could only be realized after Siemionow negotiated a path fraught with ethical, biological and technical complexity. Yet the awesome science of her feat is never eclipsed by the heart that guides it: "for the patient and me, the reward will be something we're both waiting to see. A smile." 8 pages of b&w photos. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.