7 Amazing Face Transplants

1Richard Lee Norris: The man with the most extensive face transplant ever performed

These are the incredible before-and-after pictures of 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris who was given the most extensive face transplant ever performed. Mr. Norris, who was injured in a 1997 gun accident, was pictured seven months after being given a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw in a 36-hour surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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.

2Isabelle Dinoire: The first person to undergo a partial face transplant

Isabelle Dinoire is a French woman who was mauled by a Labrador after she had overdosed on sleeping pills in May 2005. While she was passed out, Tania – the dog Isabelle Dinoire loved so much - came to her and started scratching and chewing on her face. There are speculations that the dog got frantic after seeing her master unresponsive and was possibly trying to wake her. After she was mauled, Isabelle Dinoire was left without lips and with part of her nose, chin and cheeks missing. She was scheduled to undergo face transplant operation which took place on November 27, 2005 at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Nord in Amiens, France. Isabelle Dinoire is the first person ever to have undergone a partial face transplant.

3Dallas Wiens: The first American to receive a full face transplant

Dallas Wiens (born May 6, 1985) is the first United States recipient of a full face transplant, performed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital during the week of March 14, 2011. It was the first such operation in the United States and the third in the world. Wiens of Fort Worth, Texas was severely disfigured in 2008 when he came in contact with an active high-voltage power line. He was standing inside the cherry picker when his forehead made contact with a high-voltage wire. Transported by helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital, surgeons spent 36 hours over two days working to save Wiens' life.

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 Pomaha?, 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.

4Connie Culp: The woman who had a face transplant after being shot in the face by her ex husband

Connie Culp is a 46-year-old Ohio woman who has had the first face transplant in the US after being shot by her husband. Her new look was a far cry from the puckered, noseless sight that made children shrink away in horror.

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.

5Pascal Coler: The man who had his face disfigured by a genetic disease receives a new face

These pictures reveal the amazing transformation of Pascal Coler, a modern-day Elephant Man. Mr. Coler's face had been horribly disfigured by Von Recklinghausen's disease, a rare genetic disorder. But in 2008, a team of French surgeons, headed by Professor Laurent Lantieri, gave him a new lease on life. The controversial operation, which involved replacing Mr. Coler's face with that of a dead donor, took 16 hours, the News of the World reported.
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

A 30-year-old man was attacked by a bear in October 2004. In the bear attack a large section of the man's face was ripped off and doctors decided to attempt a transplant after skin grafts from his arm failed. The face donor was a 25-year-old man who had died in a traffic accident. After consent was obtained from the donor's family, the transplant operation was performed in April 2006.

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.

7Ugur Acar: The teenager who had a new face for the first time since a fire accident when he was just a baby

This is the incredible moment when a teenager who underwent Turkey's first facial transplant sees his new face for the first time. Ugur Acar, 19, suffered serious burns to his face during a house fire when he was just 40 days old. He had a cosmetic procedure to repair his face in 2012 at Akdeniz University's School of Medicine in southern Turkey. His face was freshly shaven before he looked into the mirror, as he had been forced to grow a beard over the three weeks since the operation to avoid irritating his skin.

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.