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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 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
quote:
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.


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