Thursday, December 01, 2005

Face Off

First Ever Face Transplantation:
Surgeons in France have carried out the world's first face transplant, on a 38-year-old French woman whose lips and nose were ripped off in a dog attack.
Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard, the French surgeon who performed the first ever hand transplant in 1998, confirmed news reports that the operation had taken place over the weekend.
In the high-risk operation, a triangle formed by the nose and mouth was grafted onto the patient.
The facial tissues, muscles, arteries and blood veins needed for the transplant were taken on Sunday from a donor in the northern city of Lille, who was in a brain-dead condition. The patient will have to take immunosuppressant drugs to help her body cope with the donated tissue.
Computer modelling suggests that her new face will be a hybrid between her own and that of the donor.
The transplant procedure could bring hope for thousands of people whose faces are disfigured by burns, trauma, disease or birth defects -- although ethical concerns have held back its development


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