Burn Victim Gets New Face, Hands

Landmark operation in clinic where docs performed world's first face transplant
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 3:33 AM CDT
Burn Victim Gets New Face, Hands
Doctors who participated in the first face transplant in the US sit in front of an animation of the procedure at a news conference last year at the Cleveland Clinic.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

A burn victim has received a new face and hands in a ground-breaking transplant surgery in France, reports the Times of London. A team of 40 doctors worked 30 hours in the same Paris hospital that performed the world's first face transplant in 2005 and first hand transplant in 1998. The new hands were grafted above the patient's wrists, and his nose, eyelids, forehead, scalp and ears were replaced. The 30-year-old man suffered horrific burns in 2004.

The lead surgeon Laurent Lantiéri, who has performed three of six face transplants in the world, was optimistic about the operation. He performed an earlier face transplant just last month and talked about the thrill of watching his patient's new face turn pink. “This face which was completely white becomes pink," he said. "It is something magic to see—a moment of extraordinary intensity." (Read more face transplant stories.)

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