First Full-Face Transplant

Facial Reconstruction in Spain

HEALTH Excitement is spreading across the globe as a man recovers from a 22-hour successful surgical operation to transplant an entire face — including donor cheekbones, nose, lips, teeth and jaw.

Vall d'Hebron University Hospital spokesperson Bianca Bont said: "This is the first total face transplant." Worldwide, there have been 10 partial transplants covering up to 80 percent of the face. "This is the first to transplant all of the face and some bones of the face."

The patient was considered for a full-face transplant after nine previous operations failed.

A team of 30 experts carried out the operation on March 20th at the hospital in Barcelona, Spain in a manner that doctors say will conceal scars. British experts report the Spanish operation may be the most complex yet. It appears to include more bone and much more of the lower part of the face. Surgeons stress that the patient will bear no resemblance to the donor. Life-long anti-rejection medication is required, which suppresses the immune system.

Tags: dermatology, disfigured, disfigurement, facial reconstruction, otolaryngologists, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, replace face, surgeons


Read complete Full face transplant 'a success' article at BBC News.