Spain’s first face trans­plant pa­tient pro­gress­ing well, says sur­geon

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

MADRID: A 43-year-old man who un­der­went Spain’s first fa­cial trans­plant was mak­ing good progress yes­ter­day, the sur­geon who per­for med the op­er­a­tion said.

“The pa­tient is do­ing very well, but we have to be care­ful,” Pe­dro Cavadas said.

The man re­ceived a new face from a 35-year-old man who died in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent. The op­er­a­tion took place at the Hospi­tal La Fe in the east­ern city of Va­len­cia and lasted 15 hours.

It was the eighth such op­er­a­tion to have been car­ried out world­wide, the Span­ish Health Min­istry said.

“His or­deal lasted for 11 years. His only hope was a fa­cial trans­plant. To­day he can swal­low, speak clearly and re­cover the sense of taste,” Cavadas said.

“To put it sim­ply, he has re­gained hu­man dig­nity.”

The sur­geon said the man “has looked at him­self in the mir­ror and was de­lighted”.

The iden­tity of the re­cip­i­ent was not of­fi­cially dis­closed, but a lo­cal news­pa­per said he was from Spain’s Ca­nary Is­lands and had suf­fered a se­ri­ous fa­cial in­jury.

The first suc­cess­ful face trans­plant was per­formed in France in 2005 on Is­abelle Di­noire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog.

Three oth­ers have since been car­ried out in France, two in the US and one in China. Two of the pa­tients, one in France and the other in China, have died.

The op­er­a­tion was marred by the rev­e­la­tion of the donor’s iden­tity by the lo­cal me­dia, which the sur­geon said was a vi­o­la­tion of “a sacro­sanct se­cret”. – Sapa-AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.