Docs Detail Near-Total Face Transplant

Unnamed patient now has 'face to face the world:' surgeon
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2008 2:29 PM CST
Doctors who participated in the nation's first near-total face transplant watch an animation of the procedure at a news conference today.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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(Newser) – Cleveland Clinic officials say the woman who underwent the most comprehensive face transplant yet exhausted conventional options before agreeing to the risky 22-hour procedure in which 80% of her face was replaced with a cadaver’s. The unnamed patient lacked a nose or palate and couldn’t eat or breathe without a special opening to her windpipe. She had been humiliated and ridiculed, USA Today reports.

“We never thought for a moment that our sister would ever have a chance at a normal life again, after the trauma she endured,” a family member said. “But thanks to the wonderful person that donated her organs to help another living human being, she has another chance to live a normal life.”