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July 26th, 2010
10:36 AM ET

Full face transplant patient appears in public

The world's first full face transplant recipient, identified only as Oscar, appeared in public for the first time at a press conference held at a Spanish hospital on Monday.

In March, University Hospital Vall d'Hebron performed the  transplant in an operation that took 24 hours. Oscar, whose face was severely injured in an accident, had undergone nine failed operations before being considered for the transplant.

Surgeons transplanted the entire facial skin and muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones, and the mandible through plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques, according to the hospital.

CNN: Spanish doctors conduct full face transplant

Although this is the first total face transplant, there have been partial face transplants in France, the United States, China and Spain.
Read about the U.S. partial face transplant recipient.


soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. Ruben

    This is really great that this man could be helped in this way, I wish him the best. I think it looks much better than the partial facial transplant that was done a while back on a different person; it seems as though the procedure is improving and I hope it will continue to improve.

    July 26, 2010 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dottie

    Why is everyone making such terrible commets. Women have breast implants all the time and men can't keep their eyes off the bust. People have their face,butt,stomach and other parts of their body re-done and no one says anything about that.
    This gentleman may not look as normal as some people at this point but it will improve with time.
    Think of our soldiers that have had terrible injuries protecting out country and maybe a miracle can happen to them to look more like themselves before the war.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Howard

    Bravo to Oscar! Not only did he survive an apparently horrific accident, he received the best that medicine has to offer. And he is rightfully proud to display the achievements of the surgeons that treated him, and his will to survive and prosper.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Halah

    Wow, I think it looks pretty darn good. He's still swollen and I don't think many of the nerves have started working yet, but I can see real potential there,

    July 26, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MN IN MN

    I look forward to they day when this type of procedure is routine ofr people with significant facial trauma. My wife and I are organ donors, and have explicitly stated in our medical directives on file with our lawyer that _all_ of our bodies etc. can be harvested for transplant when we die. I encourage others to do the same. It defies imagination what my limbs, face, vital organs, etc. could mean for someone.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      Right on, you've got an excellent point. Thanks for speaking up.

      July 26, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
  6. Justin Heard

    I am overjoyed for the recipiant of the face transplant!!!! Life without a face is a terror that most would not select to live with if given the option. This man now has somthing to touch; rather than a hollow raw hole in the center of his head. People who find him funny looking or joke are mentally ill, period. As is, he now has an identity....he has hope, something to build upon. Nerves will reconnect, tendons will heal and his face will get better everyday with time. : )

    July 26, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. CanadianTea

    You know he severely injured his face by shooting himself by accident? Thats what my local news said, whats missing here? depth.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • @ the idiot above

      Actually, he was injured from being too close to an electrical shortage which burned off his face.
      Troll

      March 21, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • American Coffee

      Dear "@ the idiot above," you are thinking of another man in the United States who has just undergone this surgery and whose new face has not yet been revealed. Before you jump to call someone an idiot, make sure you don't get your stories mixed up. That CNN article referenced this article, but was not intended to make you believe this is the same man. Was there really a point in calling Canadian Tea an idiot? Certainly not.

      March 22, 2011 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • American Tea

      You are on the CNN site, of course there is always something missing: facts, dates, names, etc.

      Canadian Tea, I wonder why you had to bring up the cause of his disfigurement? Part of the anti-gun movement since he had blown most of his face off with a gun in a hunting accident. Or maybe you are against hunting??

      March 22, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
  8. Christopher Gonzales, Austin, TX

    Amazing. The medical world is not at the level of making the transplant look "normal" in society's judgement yet. This is, however, so much more advanced than what was available just a few short years ago. The person who underwent this surgery is a fine example of true bravery and courage. Lord forbid, if I had to endure some horrible event that disfigured my face, I probably wouldn't make it to the surgery day and just commit suicide. I have said my short and sweet prayer for this man. He deserves all our good wishes.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nithin

      I remember going near uorgnd zero 5 weeks after 9/11 and still seeing smoke in the air. Not to mention the air did not smell good.Sad.Every which way.-Peace

      April 9, 2012 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
  9. samsteve

    Wow, just wow! Aren't we all lucky to live in an age where this is a possibility. What a hero...to to go where no one has gone before in hopes that we all will prosper! THAT takes something most of us don't have.

    July 26, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Laura

    This man looks amazing and should be so proud of the medical miracle that he is. Blessings to you, Oscar, and to the team of doctors, nurses et al who have done such a superb job! Oscar, you're an amazing individual to have undergone this surgery and in addition, you've helped the medical world understand scads about the full facial transplant procedure. Be proud of this, I know I'm proud for you.

    July 26, 2010 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jaime

    I hope for only a happy life for this man and that we learn as much as we can from him.

    July 26, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jaime

    This man shows rare courage and strength. We can all learn something about what is great in being alive and human.

    July 26, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. HedgedIn

    Oscar should be proud of himself...he's a symbol of hope for people the world over hoping for an operation like this. Unfortunately, a lot of people who have the gift of non-disfigured faces cannot appreciate how wonderful this is, nor can they seem to grasp that this man is still healing and much of the swelling should eventually go down. Unfortunately, there are a lot of careless, disgusting, vile people that take their own lack of facial flaws for granted. Those individuals should be ashamed. I wish I could congratulate Oscar personally, and I for one am so thankful that I've been able to see his story. There are too many depressing stories out there, this is wonderful.

    July 26, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kianna

    Anyone know if he can talk? That must have been very scary going in front of the international press after all that! I really do wish him the best!

    July 26, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aleksey

      Astrid August 16, 2011 You remembered all those conovs? I'm crying my pretty eyeballs out while reading this; I nearly died of dehydration (Ok this is exag already) For the longest time I was wondering when are you going to blog about me. (Hahaha. Conceited much? BUT HEY, you love me right? You conceited, I'm conceited. Great minds think alike!) I just thought of another formula (the Joseph the Dreamer one; will let you know soon) What I really, truly wanna say is:Hi I'm Astrid. I love you, my friend. (But you know that already right?)

      September 14, 2012 at 02:17 | Report abuse |
  15. Dianne93101

    Amazing! If he could get a beard and moustache he would look even more presentable.
    To all the creeps posting heartless comments, don't think that this couldn't happen to you. You could have your face burned in a fire or fall right onto your face in a drunken stupor.
    I wish this man all the love in the world.

    July 26, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yuni

      something like:Filed under: [Foldername].You can then easily seacrh inbox, sent items etc for that keyword. And file. It wont work for new emails being sent to you but it will help you keep track of those that you have sent, which is usually more important (those are the ones you have gotten yourself committed to).

      September 12, 2012 at 03:06 | Report abuse |
  16. sag coopersmith

    I think he looks wonderful

    July 27, 2010 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ilookuptohim

      Not funny.... not even a little.

      May 9, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
  17. The Test

    Come on, people. He looks great? Hell no, he looks horrifying. Better to look at than skull with eyeballs? Yes. But horrifying, all the same

    July 27, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. texas646

    I think he looks great. Congratulations to the doctors, nurses, and all care providers...as well as his family and friends. And most important of all.....congratulations sir....you are a miracle twice over. Mazel Tov! May you have a long and happy life.

    July 27, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. person

    people stop being mean to this guy before he hardly had a face so please dont leave nasty comments thats just plain rude!

    July 28, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. person

    i mean too edwin

    July 28, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. person

    i agree with edwin i mean

    July 28, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evalia

      thanks Mr minister Jermy brwone for your time and feed back at Bahrain it was very nice of you.i would like to high light the events that taken place in Bahrain prior to Jan 2011. which will give your reputable report ofcourse more credibility as far as Bahrain is concernedHis son still a leading figure in ministry of interior Bahrain and the other british team member still their incharge.i am just like yourself as human being think of other human being in world i appreciate your work and job and concerns about human rights every where in the world, but you do not share with me that british government hold a special moral duty in the case of Bahrain.Bahraini dictators was imposed into people of bahrain by the british empire, british torure team lead the torturing in bahrain until todate, it is totally different than other places around the world.after all the above i would like to ak you as minister of human rights if you agree with me or disagree with me,if there are in your point view human rights abuse or notand if there is a moral responsiblity of britain in history and the current abuse of human rights with help of british team.and if you agree with me that the review of 2010, which did not include or ignored bahrain has credibilty issue.and if you agree with me on the past issues then you foresee the coming issue will recognize the human rights gross Violation.i would like to thank and thank your beatiful country for given me the university education and thank your country support in human rights all around the world.

      September 14, 2012 at 01:36 | Report abuse |
  22. adamski

    Oh, get over yourselves you over sensitive, easily offended panty waists. You don't give a rat's ass either. All you're doing is posting your drippy "blessings" and well wishes for some dude that never gonna see them so you can try and convince yourself you're a good person. Congratulations. Pat yourself on the back. Now please go step in front of a train.

    By the way, the guy looks like a nightmare monster. I'd rather be dead.

    July 28, 2010 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. porta

    i ve to say i was really marveled when i saw oscar on tele ,i must say that he is really brave,i couldnt stop thinking about the amount of knowledge God has given to mankind,bravo to the doctors,and may God help oscar with all the pain he may be experiencing,psychologically n physically,God be with u

    July 30, 2010 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. J Cook

    I was impressed. Dude looks good, color good. I'm assuming there's swelling there from fluid retention, lack of movement. Just wondering what the likelihood is for nerve growth and functionality. I wish him well.

    August 4, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ChimChim

    I see now that all of those fears expressed in online forums at the time of this transplant were completely unfounded. Pretty certain that this guy isn't taking over anyone else's identity.

    August 4, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Caliconor

    If they can transplant a face and smash atoms together, imagine where we'll be in 20 years with other major procedures. Wow.

    March 22, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Brice

    Wow, technology has come a very long way in a short amount of time. I wonder if we will be able to grow our own facail tissue back using stem cells. And to all the bad comments out there... Oscar may not look "normal" but I'm sure you would be happy to have some kind of a face than no face at all. I'm curious to see the results as the swelling goes down.

    March 22, 2011 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.