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Medicine Science

The World's First Full Face Transplant 193

Dave Knott writes "A thirty-member Spanish medical team has achieved the world's first full face transplant. There have been ten previous similar operations, but this is claimed to be the first total transplant, replacing all of the face including some bones. The unnamed recipient originally injured himself in a shooting accident, and received the entire facial skin and muscles — including cheekbones, nose, lips and teeth — of a donor. The complex operation involved extraction of the donor's face, followed by removal of the jaw, nose, cheeks and parts of the eye cavities. Then the medical team took all of the donor face's soft tissue, including musculature, veins and nerves. In order to transplant the face, the medical team has to connect four jugular veins, extract bones and join all the musculature and blood vessels. The recipient has had a chance to see himself in the mirror, and is reportedly satisfied with the results. It is unknown whether he now looks more like John Travolta or Nicolas Cage." The pictures and videos in the linked articles are all computer-generated at this point, so the squeamish need not worry.
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The World's First Full Face Transplant

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  • Re:The donor? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pointy McButterpants ( 1183327 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @03:03PM (#31959048) Homepage

    Uh, who could possibly need a shit transplant?

    Actually.. []

  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @03:44PM (#31959568)

    Right, because anti-rejection drugs and a face full of nerve damage are waaaaay better than a few wrinkles.

  • by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @05:40PM (#31961178) Journal

    The last first was first until this first came along and included *some* bones.
    This first will be the first until the next first included more bones.
    I think they're on to something here. Not only have they found a way to generate repeating headliners, they can do so farther and farther by redefining 'face'.

    'Researchers today performed the first really really for real face transplant. The previous first removed enough skin from the front side of the person so that their navel was pulled upwards to serve as a third nostril. In this record shattering surgery, the skin was pulled even farther upwards, so that now her pubic hair serves as a beard. According to Dr. Rob Zombie they have yet to solve the problem of the patient urinating onto her dinner plate from her chin. "We tried a diaper, but then she couldn't breathe." Dr. John Carpenter stated "We don't expect to have the problems that we previously with this patient, specifically her negative reaction to having three nostrils. This time we're 'replanted' [their term for transplants performed on the same person but involving different locations] most of the old evolutionary hold-overs that were previously user to define 'face'. We find it highly unlikely the patient will state objections to having a beard on her face if she can't see in a mirror. We moved her eyes around back to make room for the beard." Dr. Zombie added "And if she does, so what? If we don't want to listen to her, we've moved her mouth too. We'll just make her sit down. It wasn't strictly necessary to move her mouth that far, but we had to do something. It was impossible to work with all that screaming going on."

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.