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Face transplant survivor reveals new look

Published:Monday | July 26, 2010 | 1:09 PM

A Spanish man who underwent the world's first full face transplant has revealed his new look on television.

The 31-year-old thanked his donor's family and the medics that gave him a new face in March at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona.

A shooting accident left him needing his entire facial skin and muscles, including nose and lips replaced.

Doctors say he can expect to regain up to 90 per cent of his facial functions after being unable to breathe, swallow, or talk properly following the accident five years ago.

Oscar was considered for a full face transplant after nine previous operations failed.

A team of 30 experts carried out the 24-hour long operation on March 20 at the hospital in Barcelona.

Led by Dr JP Barret, the team transplanted muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones, and the mandible using plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques.

It was the first full face transplant performed worldwide, as the 10 operations performed previously had been only partial.