Why The Brigham's Report Of A Full Face Transplant Might Feel Familiar

Not that it's any less amazing to transplant a whole face, but today's announcement by Brigham & Women's is just the latest of several recent incremental steps:

May, 2009: The Brigham announces that it has performed the first partial face transplant in New England, and the second in the United States. To the left is patient James Maki after the transplant. WBUR's story is here.

April, 2010: The world's first full-face transplant is reported in Spain:

(AP) A hospital in Spain says it has carried out the world's first full-face transplant, giving a man a new nose, skin, jaws, cheekbones, teeth and other features after he lost his face in an accident.

Other transplant experts lauded the surgery but were not sure it could technically be called 'full-face.'

The operation was carried out by a 30-member medical team in late March and took 24 hours to perform, according to the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona.

2005: The first partial face transplant, in France, discussed on "On Point."

This program aired on March 21, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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