First-ever full face transplant welcomed
Published 23/04/2010 | 01:50
British experts have welcomed the news that a team in Spain has performed the world's first full face transplant.
Over 30 medics carried out the operation at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron University Hospital on a young man who was injured in an accident five years ago.
The patient was unable to breathe, swallow or speak properly before the transplant and was dependent on artificial equipment to breathe and eat. He received new facial muscles, skin, nose, lips, jaw, teeth, palate and cheekbones in the 24-hour operation, performed on March 20.
Professor Peter Butler, head of the UK's Facial Transplantation Research Team, has been ready to perform a full face transplant for several months.
His team is understood to be looking for donors that provide an exact match for several patients.