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Spanish doctors conduct full face transplant

By the CNN Wire Staff
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First total face transplant
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Doctors at Barcelona hospital gave man new nose, lips, teeth, cheekbones
  • The man severely damaged his face in an accident
  • Medical team's leader said patient was satisfied when he saw new appearance
  • There have been partial face transplants in France, the U.S., China and Spain
RELATED TOPICS
  • Spain
  • Barcelona

(CNN) -- Doctors in Spain say they have carried out the world's first full face transplant on a man who severely damaged his face in an accident.

Doctors at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron University Hospital say they were able to give the man a new nose, lips, teeth and cheekbones during 24 hours of surgery.

Thirty doctors were part of the surgery that occurred in late March.

The patient had undergone nine failed operations before being considered for the transplant.

The medical team's leader, Joan Pere Barret, told reporters that the patient was satisfied when he saw his new appearance. He has scars on his forehead and neck, but they will be concealed in the future, Barret said.

"'The patient asked to see himself one week after the surgery, and he reacted very calmly and with satisfaction, and when we asked him -- in writing, because we communicate with writing and gestures -- he said he was very grateful and satisfied," Barret said.

Although this is the first total face transplant, there have been partial face transplants in France, the United States, China and Spain.

The first was when doctors operated on Isabelle Dinoire in Amiens, France, in 2005. She had been mauled by her dog.

In 2008, the United States had its first-ever near-total face transplant.

Connie Culp, injured by a bullet in 2004, received the nose, upper lip and cheekbones of a donor in a 22-hour operation at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

CNN's Al Goodman and Elizabeth Landau contributed to this report.

 
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