Man shows first US full face transplant

2011-05-09 20:02
Face transplant recipient, Dallas Wiens, at a press conference in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Texas cherry picker burned his face off after his head touched an electrical wire. (Adam Hunger, AFP)

Face transplant recipient, Dallas Wiens, at a press conference in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Texas cherry picker burned his face off after his head touched an electrical wire. (Adam Hunger, AFP) (Adam Hunger)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Boston - A Texas cherry picker who burned his face off after his head touched an electrical wire showed off his new face on Monday as doctors presented the first US full face transplant recipient.

Wearing black sunglasses and a dark goatee beard, Dallas Wiens, 26, appeared at a press conference alongside doctors who performed the operation at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the northeastern city of Boston.

"To me the face feels natural, as it if has become my own," said Wiens, acknowledging that he still feels numb in some places and needs to continue rehabilitation work to rebuild nerve function.

"I can never express what has been done, what I have been given," he added, thanking the donor family who wished to remain anonymous.

Wiens was injured in November 2008 when his head touched a high voltage electrical wire, causing dramatic facial deformities and burning off his nose and lips.

Plastic surgeon Bohdan Pomahac led the team of physicians, nurses and anaesthesiologists for more than 15 hours to replace Wiens's nose, lips, facial skin, nerves and muscles.

The operation was done in March by a 30-strong team at Brigham and Women's Hospital, which said it was "the first full face transplant" performed in the country.

"He was quite literally a man without a face," said Pomahac.

First in 2005

The world's first full face transplant took place in Spain, and was unveiled in July 2010 by doctors at Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona.

The 31-year-old recipient, identified only as Oscar, reportedly suffered injuries in a shooting accident and spoke at a televised news conference with considerable difficulty. He could not close his mouth and his face appeared swollen.

The first successful partial face transplant was performed in France in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog.

Since then face transplants have been carried out in China, the United States and Spain, which carried out its first such operation in August 2009.

Wiens, who lost his eyesight in the accident, also spoke with some difficulty, but said he has already begun to regain his sense of smell.

"The ability to breathe through my nose normally, that in itself was a major gift," he said.

Now he is considering university education and is looking forward to leading a more normal life with his young daughter, who was enamoured by his new look.

"She actually said 'Daddy, you're so handsome,'" he said.

Read more on:    us  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.