Texas man gets first full face transplant in USA break through for those in need of a more than just plastic surgery.
AP, Tuesday 22 Mar 2011
A Texas construction worker horribly disfigured in a power line accident has undergone the nation's first full face transplant in hopes of smiling again and feeling kisses from his 3-year-old daughter.
Dallas Wiens, 25, received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an unidentified dead person in an operation paid for by the U.S. military, which wants to use what is learned to help soldiers with severe facial wounds.
Wiens will not resemble "either what he used to be or the donor," but something in between, said plastic surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac). "The tissues are really molded on a new person."
Pomahac led a team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women's Hospital during the 15-hour operation last week. Wiens was listed in good condition at the Boston hospital on Monday. He did not appear at a news conference with the surgeon.
The Fort Worth man's features were all but burned away and he was left blind after hitting a power line while painting a church in November 2008. The transplant was not able to restore his sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged from his injury that he will probably have only partial sensation on his left cheek and left forehead, the surgeon said.
About a dozen face transplants have been done worldwide, in the U.S., France, Spain and China. This was the third in the U.S. and the second at the Boston hospital. The previous one was in April 2009 - the partial replacement of the face of a man who was injured in a freak accident.
The world's first face transplant, also a partial, was done in France in 2005 on a woman mauled by her dog. Doctors in Spain performed the first full face transplant last March for a farmer who was unable to breathe or eat on his own after accidentally shooting himself in the face.
© 2010 Ahram Online.