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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 heffeque on 4/26/2010 7:37:19 AM , Rating: 4
Not only that... people in Spain actually think that health is more important than money.

RE: $
By pepito perez on 4/26/2010 10:13:38 AM , Rating: 3
I'm from Barcelona, living in the US. Not sure what people could complain about Obama's reform (other that it falls WAY too short) but health care here is a disaster. Of course, if you are one of Dr. House patients you are fine. Whoever puts free market and health care in the same sentence must be joking: When I went shopping for an insurance I realized it's almost impossible to get one directly, you have to go through a broker. Then they will push for their preferred provider, and you have no real way to compare and choose. This is not a free market, is a cartel structured to keep the prices artificially high and to prevent the consumer from having real free choice.

Ah, don't forget about co-pays, deductibles, lifetime maximums... Then if some day I get really sick, I trust my insurance to find a loophole to kick me out.

Funny, I had to travel all this way to fully appreciate the Catalan health system.

RE: $
By Kurz on 4/26/2010 10:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing is free in this world my friend.
People do things for free for someone else, but there is a cost associated with doing that.

Health is more important than money. Though you have to understand in order to get the best treatment doctors spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get the training.

That is a cost.
There is also the issue of long hours.
equipment, research, etc

RE: $
By heffeque on 4/27/2010 10:56:45 AM , Rating: 2
It's still interesting how the health system in Spain way better better than in the States (quality wise) and still is 5 times cheaper per head.
There's something really really wrong in the US health system and it seems that Obama is trying to fix that, but it's not going to be easy because the mess is too big and people are afraid of changes, even if they are for the better.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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