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US hospital gives man new nose, lips, skin and muscles in face transplant op

Hospital in Boston carries out America’s first – and the world’s second – first full face transplant.

October 2010 file photo of Dallas Wiens, who underwent a full face transplant in Boston recently.
October 2010 file photo of Dallas Wiens, who underwent a full face transplant in Boston recently.
Image: AP Photo/LM Otero

A TEXAS CONSTRUCTION worker who was badly disfigured in an electricity cable accident two years ago has received a full face transplant at a Boston hospital.

More than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital led by plastic surgeon DrBohdan Pomahac performed the 15-hour operation last week on 25-year-old Dallas Wiens, of Fort Worth, Texas.

He was described today as being in good condition in hospital.

A new face

The electrical accident in November 2008 left Wiens blind and without lips, a nose or eyebrows.

In Boston, doctors transplanted an entire new face, including a nose, lips, skin and muscles and nerves that animate the skin and give sensation. The donor’s identity was not disclosed.

In the video posted below, Wiens spoke poignantly about why he wanted a transplant and how he wanted to smile again and feel kisses from his 3-year-old daughter. Face transplants give horribly disfigured people hope of a new option “rather than looking in the mirror and hating what they see,” he said.

This was the second face transplant the Boston hospital has performed; the previous one was a partial transplant in April 2009.

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.


- AP

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