7 Amazing Face Transplants
Tags: face transplants, full face transplant
1The man with the most extensive face transplant ever performed
For 15 years, Mr. Norris lived as a recluse in Hillsville, Virginia, hiding behind a mask and only coming out at night time. He can now feel his face and is able to brush his teeth and shave. He's also regained his sense of smell, which he had lost after the accident. When he shot himself in the face in 1997, Mr. Norris lost his nose, lips and most movement in his mouth. He has had multiple life-saving, reconstructive surgeries which also replaced underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck. Motor function is now 80 percent on the right side of the face and 40 percent on the left.
2The first person to undergo a partial face transplant
3The first American to receive a full face transplant
Wiens was left permanently blind and without lips, a nose or eyebrows. Doctors told the family that Wiens likely would be paralyzed from the neck down and would never speak or produce enough saliva to eat solid food. They put him in a medically-induced coma for 3 months. After awakening, he made unprecedented progress and left the hospital in the spring of 2009. In May 2010 he started walking. In March 2011, a transplant team of more than 30 doctors, including eight surgeons and doctors and nurses from multiple disciplines led by MUDr. Bohdan Pomahač, performed a full face transplant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. It took 15 hours. Wiens' sight couldn't be recovered but he has been able to talk on the phone and smell.
4The woman who had a face transplant after being shot in the face by her ex husband
Culp's expressions are still a bit wooden, but she can talk, smile, smell and taste her food again. Her speech is, at times, a little tough to understand. Her face is bloated and squarish, and her skin droops in big folds that doctors plan to pare away as her circulation improves and her nerves grow, animating her new muscles. Culp's husband, Thomas, shot her in 2004 then turned the gun on himself. He went to prison for seven years. His wife was left clinging to life. The blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone splinters were embedded in her face. She needed a tube into her windpipe to breathe. Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin were left.
She endured 30 operations. Doctors took parts of her ribs to make cheekbones and fashioned an upper jaw from one of her leg bones. She had countless skin grafts from her thighs. Still, she was left unable to eat solid food, breathe on her own, or smell. Then, in a 22-hour operation, Dr. Maria Siemionow led a team of doctors who replaced 80 percent of Culp's face with bone, muscles, nerves, skin and blood vessels from another woman who had just died. It was the fourth face transplant in the world.
No information has been released about the donor or how she died, but her family members were moved when they saw before-and-after pictures of Culp.
5The man who had his face disfigured by a genetic disease receives a new face
In the operation, tissues, nerves, arteries and veins were all attached to the patient's face.
Mr. Coler described the day of his surgery as the happiest of his life.
6The man who had his face partially reconstructed after having his nose ripped off by a bear
Professor Shuzhong Guo from Xijing Hospital and Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China led the team of plastic surgeons.
During an 18-hour operation, they re-connected arteries, veins and nerves and repaired the nose, upper lip, and sinuses. Four different drugs were administered to reduce the chances of tissue rejection.
7The teenager who had a new face for the first time since a fire accident when he was just a baby
Doctors successfully transplanted tissue from the face of a 45-year-old donor to Mr. Acar. They are planning to discharge Mr. Acar from the hospital in 45 days.
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