US facial transplant patient 'healthy'

Following extensive cosmetic surgery for a full facial transplant, a patient in the US is reported to be in excellent health.

Writing in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, Dr Maria Siemionow and her colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic said: "We are pleased to report an excellent functional, psychological, and social outcome for our patient at eight months following transplantation."

The patient was a 45-year-old woman who had severe facial injuries following short-range shotgun fire.

Doctors could see no conventional way of returning some of her former quality of life and instead set about preparation for a facial transplant.

The eventual procedure took 22 hours and over 80 per cent of the anatomy covering the facial area was replaced.

Due to the extensive coverage of the replacement surgery, the patient received thorough rehabilitation and physical therapy to help her readjust to her face.

Facial transplants are still an experimental treatment with only a handful of patients worldwide who have undergone the surgery.

The world's first facial transplant took place in France after Isabelle Dinoire lost much of her face to dog bites.

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US facial transplant patient 'healthy'
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