A severely disfigured woman received the nose, cheeks, upper jaw and facial tissue from a female cadaver in the first near-total face transplant in the United States, the woman's surgeon said Wednesday.
The 22-hour face surgery was completed two weeks ago by a team of eight surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic.
The patient had severe deformity in the middle of her face and was missing her right eye and upper jaw, the Cleveland Clinic doctors said. She could not taste or smell, and she had trouble speaking.
Dr. Maria Siemionow, the head of plastic surgery research at the Cleveland, Ohio, hospital, said many people are "hiding from society because they're afraid to walk to the grocery stores; they're afraid to go to streets because they're called names and humiliated."
"Our patient was called names, and our patient was humiliated," she said. "We very much hope for this special group of patients, there is hope, and one day they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things which we take for granted." Read full article »
CNN's Miriam Falco and Judy Kwon contributed to this report.