Docs Hail World's First Full-Face Transplant

Gunshot farmer gets total makeover
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2010 1:18 AM CDT
Docs Hail World's First Full-Face Transplant
This graphic from Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron hospital shows the transplant procedure, which was carried out by a 30-person surgical team.   (Vall d'Hebron Hospital)

A farmer who accidentally shot himself is the first person in the world to receive a full face transplant. The man, in his 30s, is regaining the ability to speak and swallow after receiving facial skin and muscles, and a new jawbone, nose, palate, and cheekbones from a brain-dead donor, the Times of London reports.

At least 10 other face transplants have been carried out around the world, but all until now have been partial. "It is a full face transplant, restoring all the bones, and no grafts,” said the surgeon who led a team of 30 to carry out the procedure. “He has the face of a complete new human being." The patient will be in the hospital for at least another 2 months, and will eventually appear completely normal, surgeons say. (More Spain stories.)

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