Partial Face Transplant Done in France
Sadly, Jacques Chirac was not involved.
Doctors have performed the world’s first partial face transplant, grafting a nose, lips and chin onto a 38-year-old woman disfigured by a dog bite, hospital officials said Wednesday. The surgery was performed Sunday, said a statement from medics at hospitals in Lyon and Amiens. The surgery was performed in Amiens in northern France, but doctors from both hospitals participated.
The hospitals’ statement said the woman was in “excellent” condition, and the transplanted organs looked “normal.” She wants to remain anonymous, the statement added. The woman was disfigured by a dog bite in May, and the injury made it difficult for her to speak and chew, the statement said. Such injuries are “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to repair using normal surgical techniques, it added. The organs were taken from a donor who was brain dead, with the family’s consent, the statement said.
Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant. Doctors elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants.
Fascinating. The piece goes into substantial detail about the difficulties and ethical concerns involved in the procedure.
Jokes about a certain Nicolas Cage-John Travolta epic will surely be forthcoming.
Update (12/4): Face Transplant RecipientÃ¢€™s New Face Came from Suicide