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Science

First Human Tongue Transplant 63

JThaddeus writes "The New Scientist reports that "The world's first human tongue transplant has been successfully carried out by doctors in Austria." The 14-hour surgery replaced the 42-year old owner's original tongue which had to be removed because of a malignant tumour in his mouth. (Imagine the interviews: "I wanna thank all the doctorth and nurtheth who performed thith thuccethful thurgery.")"
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First Human Tongue Transplant

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  • by dacarr ( 562277 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:17PM (#6505284) Homepage Journal
    First successful tongue transplant? I'm curious then, does food taste different because it was somebody else's tongue? Oh yeah, FP! =)
    • I think that they said that the guy would have motion and be able to feel things but that he wouldn't be able to taste things.

      Apparently without a tongue, he would have had to be tube fed for the rest of his life.

  • First?!?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Flwyd ( 607088 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:23PM (#6505379) Homepage
    I've been transplanting my tongue into other people's mouths for years.
  • !sdrawkcaB (Score:5, Funny)

    by stefanlasiewski ( 63134 ) * <slashdot.stefanco@com> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:25PM (#6505401) Homepage Journal

    !tiodi uoy sdrawkcab eugnot eht dehcatta uoY
  • by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:27PM (#6505427) Homepage
    A good friend had cancer in his tongue a few years back. Rather than transplant in a donor, they just pulled up some of his pectoral and rebuilt it into a tongue for him. He could eat and drink, but lacked all sense of taste (as does the transplant patient, btw)
    He had a helluva time with Tic Tacs, since he also couldn't feel tiny things.

    Do me a favor, don't mod this posting. If you must, at least do a "+1 - Funny" as he would have wanted it that way.

    --
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:29PM (#6505461) Homepage Journal
    "(Imagine the interviews: "I wanna thank all the doctorth and nurtheth who performed thith thuccethful thurgery.)"

    Anybody else read this and think that the story submitter picked a bad time to make a joke? The dude had cancer, it's not like he lost his tongue in a way that'd earn him a Darwin Award Honorable Mention. Making fun of him for that was tasteless, no pun intended.
    • I completey agree. It is absolutely inappropriate to make light of a..hee hee.. excuse me... a Austrian...[cough] ha ha... an Austrian TOUNGE TRANSPLANT! ha ha ha, oh god.. ha ha ha

      sorry, [cough] I'm so em- bare -assed. Woo hoo, ha ha ha
    • Anybody else read this and think that the story submitter picked a bad time to make a joke
      Well I looked at it and assumed that the guy got tounge cancer the normal way... abuse of tobacco products. Sorry I have a hard time feeling sorry for self inflicted wounds.
      • "Well I looked at it and assumed that the guy got tounge cancer the normal way... abuse of tobacco products. Sorry I have a hard time feeling sorry for self inflicted wounds."

        I might agree with you if not for the addictiveness of tobacco products.
        • I might agree with you if not for the addictiveness of tobacco products.
          And who held the gun to this persons head and said start sucking away. Tobacco addiction has a long well known history. If our society was intelligent no one under 60 would be smoking today. Of course I had a high school teacher that said you can never under estimate the intelligence of the average american Kumquat. I think he is right, I get more amazed by the hour
          • That's a bit of a narrow perception, don'tcha think? Not trying to be insulting or inflammatory here, but you are oversimplifying a rather complex situation.
            • What is complex. Smoking is bad for you, it has been known for over 40 years that smoking is bad for you... If you care about your health (Ok, I guess there are suicidal people in the world) you shouldn't smoke.

              How is saying any of that being narrow minded. Is it narrow minded to tell our children not to play in traffic because they could be hit by cars (no matter how fun it really is)... People that accept other peoples stupidity, and then try to rationalize it scare me to no end.

              • "If you care about your health (Ok, I guess there are suicidal people in the world) you shouldn't smoke."

                Yet, people still do it. Why? Think about it.

                "How is saying any of that being narrow minded."

                Because there are many factors at play. If you understood more about what all was involved in people smoking despite the risks to their health, it would be unlikely that you would have the opinion you do now.

                " Is it narrow minded to tell our children not to play in traffic because they could be hit by
                • "If you care about your health (Ok, I guess there are suicidal people in the world) you shouldn't smoke."

                  "Yet, people still do it. Why? Think about it."

                  Are you trying to imply the recipient was suicidal? If he was, then that's a nauseating waste of perfectly good organs that could have gone to someone who wasn't in such a rush to hurry along their demise. After all, it's not like he's going to be leaving any usable organs behind.

                  "If you understood more about what all was involved in people smoking

                  • "Please try to enlighten us. I personally agree with the parent poster and, short of illteracy (unable to read the Surgeon General's warnings that have been on the damned things since before most of us were even born), fail to see why these people deserve pity. "

                    I'll take a stab at explaining my view. I don't expect to change your opinions, but if you'll take a moment to read and understand my view then it'll be greatly appreciated, even if we can't see eye to eye on it. Cool?

                    People are aware of the he
    • The dude had cancer, it's not like he lost his tongue in a way that'd earn him a Darwin Award Honorable Mention.

      I'd bet good money that he got cancer from using tobacco products. The only real difference between those who get the Darwin Awards and tobacco users is that the Darwin Award recipients did not see news reports, scientific studies, and warning labels that, for years, told them that what they were about to do would probably kill them.
      • "The only real difference between those who get the Darwin Awards and tobacco users is that the Darwin Award recipients did not see news reports, scientific studies, and warning labels that, for years, told them that what they were about to do would probably kill them."

        The operative word here is 'probably'. Only it's not 'probably', it's 'may'. Despite the warnings and the Truth ads, there are millions (billions?) of smokers of any age living quite happily.

        It really is a flip of the coin whether or not
        • The operative word here is 'probably'. Only it's not 'probably', it's 'may'. Despite the warnings and the Truth ads, there are millions (billions?) of smokers of any age living quite happily.

          And many of those smokers will be killed by their habit. The "perfectly happy" woman smoker in her 40's that I worked with just died of lung cancer. According to statistics, more than one-third of all regular cigarette smokers will be killed by the habit, including many smokers who are still in middle age. Smokers l
          • Why is this 2-day old thread still getting attention? Did somebody link to it from another website or something?
  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:29PM (#6505470) Homepage Journal
    I just got the first "Increase your tounge by 6 inches!" spam in by mailbox.
  • We'll see (Score:3, Informative)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:42PM (#6505636) Homepage Journal
    So, aside from the fact (presuming this was a xenotransplant) that this guy is going to have to take immunosuppresants for the rest of his life which have significant side effects like kidney damage, it will be interesting to see what happens. The tongue is actually a pretty impressive bit of tissue comprised of several layers of muscle, and the innervation of it from the hypoglossal CN is not insignificant.

  • Thath Tho Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:52PM (#6505758) Homepage Journal
    Tongue Cancer [utoronto.ca] is just a barrel of laughs!
  • Man, think about where that tongue might have been ;~)

    If this works it'll be great. But unfortunately, it will be like most transplants - temporary. Something like ~75%, or more, of transplants are rejected after 5-7 years, even when the person is taking immunosuppresive drugs. Fact of the matter is, we understand why rejection occurs, but we don't yet have the ability to prevent it. Until that happens, and xenotransplantation will play a big role in it, transplants will continue to be risky and long-term failures. But hey, sometimes that is better than the alternative...

  • Changes in Taste (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alethes ( 533985 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:20PM (#6507594)
    Does this change the way the transplant patient tastes certain foods? Will he like foods he didn't like before or dislike foods he used to like? Perhaps his favorite food will be whatever the person that had the tongue before liked? Just wondering.
  • The average size of the words in quotes is like 7. Which is crazy.

    Acually, it's 5.1882353, but that's including every single word (articles, etc.)

    These scientists and their big words. They think they know so much.

  • by onomatomania ( 598947 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @02:17AM (#6508980)
    Dear submitters, do you think we could possibly get story writeups without the bad 12-yearold humor? You know, something befitting a site visited by tens of thousands every day, and not the "hey bevis, huh, his tongue has cancer" drivel? Mmm'kay, thanks. (and editors, you know you can actually... EDIT those submissions, too.)
  • I call dibs on Gene Simmons' tongue.

    Tongue-fucking girls just got easier!
  • This sounds like the start of a great plot for a pornographic sci-fi horror film.
  • Given the ability of my ex-wife to nag for hours without a break I hope to God that she was the donor.

    Ed Almos

  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:11PM (#6515368) Homepage Journal
    Apparently it was SCO CEO Darl McBride's tongue. They transplanted it from Bill Gates' ass.

Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton

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