Face Transplant Patient Leaves Cleveland Hospital

Subject of experimental surgery released after a 2-month recovery
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 3:02 PM CST
Doctors who participated in the nation's first near-total face transplant watch an animation of the procedure at a news conference Dec. 17, 2008, at the Cleveland Clinic.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The subject of the first face transplant performed in America was released from the hospital yesterday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The patient left after 2 months of recovery from the experimental, 23-hour procedure. She enjoys being able to once again drink from a cup and taste a hamburger, the lead surgeon said.

“We can see there’s a return of confidence in the patient,” Dr. Maria Siemionow said of the unidentified woman, who underwent surgery on about 80% of her face using material from an organ donor. “The patient who is significantly disfigured is always apprehensive about going out and facing the world.”