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Spanish hospital accomplishes world's 1st full face transplant

2010-04-26 14:00 BJT

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhuanet) -- The world's first full-face transplant has been carried out last month at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron Hospital by a team of 30 doctors, according to U.S. media reports.

Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, capital city of Spain, claimed to have accomplished world's first full-face transplant March 20, 2010. The surgery was done by a team of 30 doctors and lasted for 24 hours, according to the hospital. (Photo: chinanews.com)
Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, capital city of Spain, claimed to have 
accomplished world's first full-face transplant March 20, 2010. The surgery was 
done by a team of 30 doctors and lasted for 24 hours, according to the hospital. 
(Photo: chinanews.com)

It is reported that this is the first total face transplant and the most complex one among the world's 11 face transpants so far.

The patient is a Spanish farmer who was unable to breathe or eat on his own since accidentally shooting himself in the face five years ago.

Doctors lifted an entire face, including jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth and eyelids, and placed it masklike onto the man, according to an AP report on Friday.

Now the patient has a completely new face from his hairline down. The only one scar he has runs across his neck, which looks like a wrinkle.

The man cannot yet speak, eat or smile, but he can see and swallow saliva, and he is expected to be able to eat and breathe on his own in about a week, according to Barret, a surgeon who headed the surgical team.

The surgery is hailed as a significant advance by transplant experts.