We’ve heard similar reports from different experts all over the world who reported successfully putting a face on a faceless person over the past few years as technology has enabled people with physical deformities as well as accidents to their face the chance to live normal lives. Now it’s US doctors who have carried out what they say is the most extensive face transplant ever performed.
The operation at the University of Maryland gave Richard Norris (no way related to Chuck Norris, and no he is not a victim of Chuck’s famous “Round house kick”) a new face, including jaw, teeth and tongue. The 37 year-old has lived as a recluse for 15 years after being severely injured in a gun accident (also no the person who vice-president Chenney accidentally shot while on a hunting trip), and wore a mask whenever he went outside. The surgery was funded by the US Navy, which hopes the techniques will help casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Surgeons who carried out the 36 hour operation say it was part of a series of transplant operations lasting 72 hours, using organs from one donor in five patients including Mr Norris. He lost his lips and nose in the accident, and only had limited movement of his mouth.
The lead surgeon says Mr Norris will now get his life back. The goal was to restore function as well as have aesthetically pleasing results according to Eduardo Rodriguez. The team at the University of Maryland, say Mr. Norris is now brushing his teeth and shaving, and has regained his sense of smell.
The US government estimates that 200 wounded troops might be eligible for face transplants.
The first face transplant was performed in France in 2005, on a woman who was mauled by her dog.
In 2010 surgeons in Spain carried out the world's first full face transplant. Which is a welcome thought to those who are definitely dying to loose those crooked nose and probably get some Tom Cruise on the side.
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