April 26, 2011

US Doctors Perform Nation’s Second Face Transplant

Doctors at a Boston hospital have performed the nation's second full-face transplant.

A team of over 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women's Hospital worked for over 14 hours last week to replace the full facial area of 30-year-old Mitch Hunter.

The procedure replaced Hunter's nose, eyelids, lips, facial animation muscles and the nerves that power them and provide sensation.

Hunter suffered his injuries during a 2001 accident involving a high-voltage electrical wire.

The lead surgeon, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, said the procedure went smoothly and they expect Hunter to have a successful recovery and new life.

The first full-face transplant was performed on a Texas construction worker at the hospital last month.  About a dozen face transplants have been performed worldwide, in the U.S., France, Spain and China.

The world's first face transplant, a partial face transplant, was done in France in 2005 on a woman mauled by her dog. 

The Boston hospital has placed on a waiting list for a face and hands transplant Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman mauled by a friend's chimpanzee two years ago.


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