As reported in detail on CNN.com, the first whole face transplant in the U.S. was successfully performed at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital last week.
The transplant recipient, a 28 year-old Texan named Dallas Wiens, had suffered devastating full facial burns following a high-voltage electrical accident in 2008. This left him blind and with a badly disfigured face, one without obvious facial features, despite skin grafting. He was a good candidate for the face transfer procedure, (even though it does not restore his vision) which took a team of 30 doctors about 15 hours to complete.
The surgery has replaced the nose, lips, skin and muscles as well as the nerves that power them and provide sensation. According to the medical team, he is making good progress with his recovery.