Surgeons performed the most extensive full face transplant to date on a 37-year-old man who lost a significant portion of his face in a shooting accident 23 years ago in May, 2013.
Richard Lee Norris, 45, of Hillsville, Va., lost his lips and nose in a car crash in 1997 and has been wearing a mask ever since. The groundbreaking operation took 36 hours to complete at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Lee is recovering faster than anticipated, according to surgeons.
The upper and lower jawbones, teeth, a part of the tongue, and soft facial tissue from the hairline to the collarbone were transplanted from a donor. The surgeons hoped that by moving the jawbone, Norris will need less immunosuppressive drugs, as has been shown in animal models of this procedure.
Six months to a year later, the study team saw if Norris' immunosuppressive drug dosage could be decreased without putting him at risk of organ rejection.
He was kept in the hospital for several months for close monitoring.
thank God he looks better now
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