Spain's 1st full face transplant patient smiles

September 1, 2009

International report - The patient who received Spain’s first full face transplant smiled about his new appearance, according to xinhuanet.com.

International report - The patient who received Spain’s first full face transplant smiled about his new appearance, according to xinhuanet.com.

The 43-year-old patient will be able to eat and speak intelligibly after more than a decade of not having those functions, and was expected to possibly return home this week, according to officials at Le Fe hospital in the eastern city of Valencia.

The patient lost part of his face more than 10 years ago due to radiotherapy used to treat a tumor. He received his new face from a 35-year-old man who was killed in a traffic accident, xinhuanet.com reports.

The operation was conducted Aug. 18, and is one of only eight face transplant operations performed to date worldwide. Four were performed in France, two in the United States and one in China, according to media reports.