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U.S. performs first near-total face transplant
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10:49, December 19, 2008

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A multi-disciplinary team of doctors and surgeons successfully performed U.S. first near-total face transplant at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, according to media report Friday.

In a 22-hour procedure performed within the past two weeks, the team transplanted 80 percent of a woman's face who suffered severe facial trauma.

The team said the severe trauma cost the woman one eye, much of her nose and her upper jaw and left her unable to breathe, smell, taste or smile properly.


This handout photo courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio shows a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and surgeons at Cleveland Clinic as they recently performed the first near-total face transplant in the United States. In a 22-hour procedure performed within the past two weeks, surgeons transplanted 80 percent of a woman's face who suffered severe facial trauma. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Francis Papay, chair of dermatology and plastic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic explained the surgery at a news conference on Wednesday.

"We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve."

The patient will take immune-suppressing drugs and may have to fight rejection, the doctors said, like any other transplant patient.

The operation is the fourth done globally.

French surgeons replaced much of the face of a woman disfigured by a dog in 2005. In 2006, Chinese doctors performed a face transplant on a person mauled by a bear, and a French team did a transplant in 2007 on a man suffering from von Recklinghausen disease.

Source: Xinhua/ Agencies



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