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An unnamed man recieved the first full face transplant, claims surgeons at Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Spain. This computer generated image is, in a nutshell, what the surgeons did.

It took a full 24 hours for surgeons to complete the grueling task of attatching on a new face to a severely injured young man.
The very first full face transplant was completed, giving a lucky patient a new complexion.

One man in Barcelona, Spain recently received the first transplant of its kind. A new face.

That's right, surgeons at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona claim to have completed the world's first full face transplant on March 20, 2010. Partial face transplants, as well as reconstructive surgeries, have been done before, however; they have never been to this extent.

The unnamed patient was described as a young man who suffered a severe injury to his face five years prior. This left him unable to speak, swallow, or breathe by himself. Doctors finally decided the young man eligible for a face transplant after nine unsuccessful surgeries. Patients whose injuries are too severe for simple reconstructive surgeries are then recommended partial, or even full, face transplants, like this young man.

After 24 hours of surgery, a team of 30 surgeons completed the daunting task. Within the day, an entire face was transplanted, including skin, bone structures, muscle tissue, and teeth. Scars, that will hopefully vanish into wrinkle-like blemishes, remain on the patient's forehead and neck. Doctors have prescribed immunosuppressant drugs to prevent the patient's body from rejecting the transplant. The hope is that the unnamed patient will lead a relatively normal life. 

"Within a few weeks he should begin to talk and eat as well as smiling and laughing." said Dr. Joan Pere Barret, one of his surgeons. 

As for the patient's mental state, receiving a 'new look' as extreme as a new complexion may be hard to cope with. After completing initial psychological evaluations, the patient saw his new face. Even though the new face won't mimic his earlier one, doctors did try to make his new face resemble the one he once had. A car accident killed the face donor only a few days before the surgery.

Waking up and seeing a new face in the mirror can be psychologically straining, as some might imagine. In a sense, the unnamed patient is receiving a new first impression, a new appearance. This new visage may not match his internal identity, however. Years may pass before the identity and appearance of the man psychologically marry into an emotionally harmonious state. 

All considered, this landmark surgery has many applauding. Eleven partial face transplants have been performed around the world, and the first partial surgery was completed only five years ago on a woman in France.

"This operation once again shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people, for whom reconstructive surgery has not worked and for whom the quality of life is indescribably poor." comments  Professor Peter Butler, head of U.K.'s Facial Transplantation Research Team to the 
Daily Telegraph. Butler hopes to see Britain compete with Spain, performing their own full face transplant within a year. 

While Hollywood continues to portray facial transplantation in medically incorrect films like 'Face Off,' experts hope to see full face transplants become a common procedure. This could give many a new lease on life, not to mention a new face.

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RE: $
By Laitainion on 4/26/2010 3:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
What point exactly are you trying to argue? That the US health-care is rediculously expensive by any objective standard? Or that the you think a free market is the best way to run a health service?

Either way you're wrong, the US health care system costs twice as much (per head) as most developed counrties and for that you get to be ranked as possibly the least healthy developed country too (WHO ranks the US as 72nd on overall health out of 191).

So yeah, I'll stick with my NHS thank you very much.

RE: $
By heffeque on 4/26/2010 7:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the US health care system is 5 times more expensive (per head) than the one in Spain, yet has a lower health outcome.

Here's a video that explains the differences between them and why paying more isn't always receiving a better service:

Jeff Goldsmith - Healthcare Comparison US vs Spain:

RE: $
By Steve1981 on 4/26/2010 10:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
Can't watch the video at the moment to comment (at work), but something else worth noting within the US: arguably some of the very best care you can receive here (and in the world) is at the Mayo Clinic, notably a private not-for-profit organization. It also happens to treat patients at half the cost of comparable facilities near to its locations. Just goes to show simply throwing money at problems isn't always the best option.

RE: $
By therealnickdanger on 4/26/2010 8:07:25 AM , Rating: 5
Wow, I just got this off NHS's website:
Although you do not have a legal right to a second opinion, you have the right to ask for one.

You're forgetting that citizens are not required to use either A) common sense when choosing food to eat, or B) readily available health care. It's a well-known fact that America is full of fatties. Americans are unhealthy, yes, but not for a lack of available doctors, medicine, OR health care. Even random, crazy homeless people can get immediate access to top-grade health care.

You can blame it on whatever you want: McDonald's, genetically modified corn, excessive sugar intake, illegal aliens, welfare, Bush, or Obama... it really all comes down to poor personal decisions. In fact, many of us Yanks feel that our doctors are far too quick to recommend surgery and pills to fight symptoms rather than to help correct poor lifestyle choices.

The recently passed "health care" bill will do nothing to improve actual health care. Many objective (as well as biased) analysts forecast this will increase care costs further while also reducing the quality of care provided.

On a personal note, my sister and her family lived an hour north of London (Ware, IIRC) for 5 years and she constantly described the NHS's health and dental care as "terrible" and "horrific" by comparison to what was available here.

RE: $
By martinrichards23 on 4/26/2010 12:03:42 PM , Rating: 1
People in the UK *ALWAYS* complain about the NHS, it is a national hobby.

That's until they go to the US.

Don't want to get into a "my hospital is better than yours" argument, but that is how it is.

Bottom line: In the US you pay more than 2x amount for health care, and can expect to live shorter, less healthy lives, while taking far more drugs, your babies will die more often and not even everyone is covered!

I don't know anything about Obama's health care, but the current US system is insanely inefficient.

RE: $
By Steve1981 on 4/26/2010 12:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Bottom line: In the US you pay more than 2x amount for health care, and can expect to live shorter, less healthy lives, while taking far more drugs, your babies will die more often and not even everyone is covered!

The point of the post you responded to was that these statistics are less a failing of our health care system, and more of our personal failings.

If tomorrow every American ate healthy, stopped smoking, stopped drinking, stopped taking recreational drugs, got enough exercise, etc, our health care costs would drop, and we'd live longer, healthier lives, taking fewer drugs, and our babies would die less often.

RE: $
By weskurtz0081 on 4/26/2010 4:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much, it's a cultural thing. Sure, some of it might be that people don't go because either they cannot afford it or would rather spend the money elsewhere, but a lot of it is also cultural and not related to the quality of health care received when people actually receive it.

RE: $
By Ammohunt on 4/26/2010 2:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Last time i checked that was called personal responsibilty derived from freedom...Will be a cold day in hell when the Government tells me what i can and can't eat i will grow my own food long before that day.

RE: $
By room200 on 4/26/2010 3:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh please. The government already tells you what you can and cannot eat. If it wasn't for food safety standards, you'd be eating a lot more stuff in the name of "freedom", but you might not be living long enough to enjoy it.

RE: $
By Ammohunt on 4/29/2010 3:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Food safety like pathogens or poison is != to what the Government decides to be healthy eating or not. Soylent Green anyone?

RE: $
By weskurtz0081 on 4/26/2010 8:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the quality of health care received in the U.S. is quite good, among the best. The problem is that often times people opt to not receive the health care because it is too damned expensive.

If you keep everything equal but remove the costs, the U.S. health care system would all of the sudden be one of the best.

So, just using overall health of the population to evaluate how GOOD the health care is simply doesn't take enough into account, like people not seeking out health care due to the associated cost.

The system is very good, the costs are the problem. Fix those.

RE: $
By Steve1981 on 4/26/2010 9:56:26 AM , Rating: 2
Or that the you think a free market is the best way to run a health service?

Depends on what your goals and ideals are I suppose.

Of course, the US health care system is in no way shape or form free market. The government already controls a great deal of the nation's health care via Medicare and Medicaid. Moreover, laws such as EMTALA severely restrict how our providers may operate. There is no freedom to be found there.

RE: $
By Kurz on 4/26/2010 10:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
Its rediculously expensive because of special interest groups lobbying for bill and policies that make it more profitable for them to do business in our country.

Free market was never the issue, it has always been the driver of innovation, reducing costs, and overall brings more prosperity to more people.

The WHO statistics are flawed. For one instance in America we trail a bit behind in birth rates. Thats mainly because we count every live birth regardless weither they die a minute later from complications, In the UK they don't attempt to treat newborns born eariler than 22 weeks (If I have my facts straight) even though its quite possible for them to pull through they wont treat the child. They count it differently in other countries. Its a political thing to make it look like the American system is deeply flawed.

The laws of Prices and supply and scaristy effect all of us. There is a cost associated and in one shape or another it is traded off with each other.

I am for more free market reform of the health care system.
Except its not popular since most people don't understand the basics of economics.

RE: $
By gamerk2 on 4/26/2010 10:43:39 AM , Rating: 2
Funny; Could have sworn the last time we tried a "Free Market" system, we ended up with nothing but monopolies paying around $0.10 an hour [if you were lucky]...

We haven't been a "Free Market" economy since the T. Roosevelt administartion.

RE: $
By Kurz on 4/26/2010 10:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
>.> inflation is a major cause.
The dollar lost 97% of its value since the inception of the Federal Reserve.

Just because you made .10 an hour doesn't mean you are poor.
You have to look at the difference between the costs.

In New York many people makes 6 figures.
They still have trouble making rent and mortage since the costs are so high in that city.

RE: $
By JediJeb on 4/26/2010 2:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! In 1972 my father made $8k per year and we had a house, he paid cash for a new car ( only cost $3k), plenty of food, TV, Phone, Electricity, Water, Heating and many other things, enough to be considered lower middle class. Even with those conditions by 1980 he had $40k in the bank in savings. Now days how much would you need to make to be making yearly over twice as much as a new car would cost? To save $40k in eight years? And to live comfortably? Didn't even need much insurance back then because a trip to the Dr. could be paid for out of pocket even for poor people, and even a hospital stay would bankrupt most people. But ever since Medicare started in the late 60's the cost had been rising exponentially.

Get the government out of health care, and make malpractice a criminal instead of civil offense and you will see the cost come back down to a reasonable level. Without government subsidies in health care ( medicare/medicaid ect) and insurance companies covering huge overcharges the system would provide care at a competitive price or go out of business.

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