Wiens From US Receives First Full Face Transplantation

Doctors at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston announced Monday they effectively performed the first full face transplant in U.S. on a 25-year-old Texan.

It took 30 specialists 15 hours to complete last week’s transplant of a dead donor’s lips, nose, facial skin, the muscles and nerves on Dallas Wiens of Forth Worth, according to plastic surgeon Bohdan Pomahac, director of the BWH’s burn unit and leader of the transplant team. The surgeons, however, were not able to reinstate Wien’s eyesight.

The face of Wiens was burned in 2008 when it brushed against a high voltage power line while he was on a cherry picker cleaning a church. Except for a small part of his chin, he lost all his facial features after the burned tissues from his forehead down to the neck were detached. His left eye and teeth were also removed.

Speaking in a press conference, Pomahac said Wiens is recovering and it will take some time before he could return home. The surgeon added that Wiens will neither appear like his original self and the donor, who remained anonymous.

Wiens is waiting to kissing his three-year-old daughter, his main reason for the operation. Prior to the operation, Wiens said he could not feel anything when he kisses his daughter.

Pomahac added that Wiens’ forehead, right cheek and lips will have 90 percent feeling

The BWH also performed a partial face transplant in 2005 and will execute two more as part of a program funded by the Department of Defense aimed at helping soldiers disfigured in combat.
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