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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 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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