A Second Face Transplant

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The operation took almost 25 hours, required 9 surgeons and multiple other specialists. It took place in late September but was only revealed by the Clinic today. The hospital says the man wishes to remain anonymous.

A car accident so damaged him that he needed 90% of his face replaced - skin, bone, eye sockets, nerves, muscle - from his scalp to his jaw. And he had lost sight in his right eye Doctor Frank Papay, Chairman of the Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, co-led the surgical team. He said only patients who've had multiple failed operations are even considered for a facial transplant. "In this case," Papay said, "the patient had that, and there was a period where he'd be totally blind if he lost his left eye. We were fighting against time. There was nothing else more we could do besides a face transplant," he said.

Facial transplants have been done fewer than three dozen times worldwide and is performed at only three hospitals in the U.S. The hospital says the patient is breathing and speaking better and can eat now. He's also said to be extremely grateful for the tissue donor that made the surgery possible.

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