US Man Undergoes Full Face Transplant

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 12:10 am (UTC-5)
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A U.S. man has undergone what his doctors say is the most extensive face transplant ever performed.

A team of more than 100 surgeons and nurses at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore spent 36 hours last week operating on Richard Norris, a 37-year-old resident who was left horribly disfigured by a gun accident 15 years ago.

Norris received his new face from a single anonymous donor who also provided a heart, lungs, liver and a kidney to five other patients. Norris' tongue, teeth and upper and lower jaws were also replaced during the marathon surgery.

Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, the lead surgeon, says Norris is already able move his tongue, brush his teeth and shave. Norris had been living as a recluse in his parents home since the accident, going out very rarely and always with a surgical mask covering his face.

The operation was the result of a decade's worth of research funded by the U.S. military, with the aim of helping veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq injured by improvised explosive devices.