World's second partial face transplant patient doing well in China

May 2, 2006

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Shannxi Province, China - Doctors at Xijing Hospital in this northwest China province report that China’s first partial face-transplant patient - and the world’s second - is progressing well both physically and psychologically.

Hospital officials recently released a video showing that sutures had been removed from the patient’s face and that swelling has gone down noticeably. The patient’s smile remains lopsided as the nerves on the right side of his face aren’t functioning properly, the hospital reports, but the left side appears relatively normal when he smiles.

One of the doctors says the transplants are “100 percent normal,” adding that the patient’s speed of recovery is faster than has been expected. The patient will remain in a special ward for a few more weeks so doctors can monitor progress and treat any infections that might occur.

The patient, mauled by a bear two years ago, was given a new cheek, upper lip, nose and eyebrow from a single donor.