Lead Surgeon: Full Face Transplant Recipient ‘Doing Great’

Plastic surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, far right, in a news conference at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on Monday, March 21, 2011, to discuss his team's completion of the first full face transplant in the U.S. (AP)

BOSTON — Months before Dallas Wiens traveled here from Fort Worth, Texas, to undergo a full face transplant last week, he spoke on video about why he would want to be the subject of such such an untested, experimental procedure.

“It opens the doors for everybody else who gets severe facial disfigurement,” he said. “And it’s a great thing to know that people have a thing they can choose, other than looking in the mirror and hating what they see every day.”

A 2008 high-voltage power line accident left Wiens blind and without lips, a nose or eyebrows. But last week, in the first such procedure to be performed in the U.S., a medical team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital transplanted an entire new face onto the young father.

The team was led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a plastic surgeon, who joined Morning Edition on Wednesday to discuss the groundbreaking, 15-hour-long procedure.

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