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Face transplant recipient makes first public appearance

By Madison Park, CNN
  • Oscar is the world's first full face transplant recipient
  • He had the operation in March
  • Oscar underwent nine failed operations before 24-hour transplant

(CNN) -- The world's first full face transplant recipient appeared in public for the first time Monday. The patient, identified only as Oscar, appeared at a press conference at University Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, Spain.

In March, the Spanish hospital performed the transplant in an operation that took 24 hours. Oscar, whose face was severely injured in an accident, had undergone nine failed operations before being considered for the transplant.

Surgeons transplanted the entire facial skin and muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones and the mandible through plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques, according to the hospital.

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