Face Transplant ‘Double Success’

BBC News: The Lancet journal reported operations involving a bear attack victim in China, and a French patient with a massive facial tumour had taken place. The Chinese patient was given not just the lip, nose, skin and muscle from a donor, but even some facial bone.

Frenchwoman Isabel Dinoire became the world’s first face transplant patient in 2005 after being savaged by a pet dog. She described the results of the operation as a “miracle”. The latest operations were just as complex, but involved different challenges for French and Chinese surgeons.

The first operation took place in April 2006. The patient was a farmer from a remote village in Yunnan province in China, who had been attacked by a bear 18 months earlier, leaving a huge section of tissue missing from the right side of his face. The operation, at Xijing Hospital in Xi’an City, used the face of a 25-year-old man who had died in a traffic accident.

The second operation, carried out in Paris in January 2007, involved a 29-year-old man disfigured by a neurofibroma, a massive tumour growing on his facial nerves.

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