Spanish Plastic Surgeons Perform First Full Face Transplant

Plastic surgeons in Spain have recently performed the first full face transplant on a farmer who had most of his face destroyed by a gunshot wound. The surgery took 22 hours and employed a team of over 30 doctors, nurses, and technicians.
According to an article:
The technique involved removing what was left of the man’s face and giving him a replacement “in one piece.” By the means of plastic reconstructive surgery and microsurgery of blood vessels. The doctors transplanted the entire face apart from the tongue and eyeballs onto the man.

The unnamed farmer now boasts of a brand new face from his hairline down. The only one scar he has runs across his neck, which looks like a wrinkle.
“The operation was carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Dr Joan Pere Barret, performing the transplant of the entire facial skin and muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones, and the mandible by means of plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques.”
Experts took care to ensure that the patient’s new face resembled the one he had before the accident and did not have any likeness to that of the anonymous donor.
According to Barret, his new face will be reminiscent of both.
Amazing stuff. It’s stories like this that make me proud to be a plastic surgeon. I am humbled by the skill of plastic surgeons like Dr. Barret and all of the surgeons who have contributed to the advancement of our specialty, both reconstructive and cosmetic.
Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News


  1. Dr. Youn, it seems that science someday will eventually be able to provide for body transplants (rather than brain transplants- which is obvious science fiction)- is that something you feel is within the relm of possiblity, considering that the next logical step in the progression of these type of operations would be transplanation of the entire skull too; almost a head transplant? You should be proud to be in such an important field of science- all of humanity really should be in awe of the advances these doctors have made!

    Comment by Anonymous on April 25, 2010 at 6:06 pm

  2. This is so amazing…to think that the receipient will not have the features of the donor. We are coming a long way and it is good to see that plastic surgery can also heal as well as modify – something we might be inclined to forget.

    Comment by Rosina at Middle Ageless on April 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

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