China reports successful face transplant

April 14, 2006

Doctors in China performed a 14-hour transplant surgery on a 30-year-old man to replace his face, which was mauled by a bear two years ago.

The official Xinhua news agency said the surgery at the Xijing Hospital in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province in the northwest part of the country, involved giving the patient a new cheek, upper lip, nose and an eyebrow from a single donor.

It was the first such transplant in China and the second in the world after a similar surgery in France.

"The surgery is even more complex than the first face transplant in France in November last year," said Han Yan with the hospital's plastic surgery department. The procedure in France involved surgery on a 38-year-old woman whose lips and nose were ripped off by a dog.

The report said the hospital performed the surgery free of charge. The patient was reported to be in satisfactory condition. Doctors said it would take about six months for him to regain feeling in the face.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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