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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 (409 Responses)
  1. Chelles

    Ugh...that is cruel.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jw

    a great small step forward. hopefully many more to come

    July 26, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Debbie

    I'll give you 20 to jump. What kind of human being are you to make such a remark about someone who has gone through hell and back.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Matt

    After 9+ surgeries and what is going to be months of painful therapy, I think this man could care less about small-minded people and their negative comments. Enjoy your internet platform and hide behind your computer monitor while this brave individual is out in the world with no inhibitions. Hats off to him and good luck

    July 26, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob U

      I agree. This man is showing a lot of courage.

      All the opportunistic morons who feel the need to make jokes are totally insecure with themselves, and that is the only way they know how to feel better about their pathetic lives. Nothing is more pathetic than the bravery of being out of range.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Eddie

      Bravo!!

      July 27, 2010 at 02:12 | Report abuse |
  5. evoc

    Should have seen him before the surgery.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jose

    per vidoe .... he had his whole face and jaw replaced ...WOW!!!

    July 26, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Nilo

    Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, and the blonde chick.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. evoc

    Not as frightening as you.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Todd

    pure human triumph over adversity.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Thankful

    Lookung at this man, one should feel blessed whether light or dark, atleast a healthy face to indentify with your name and background.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JayPo

    All of the people that made sly comments about this absolutely BRAVE individual need to look within. Stop saying hurtful things when you don't know what the F*%& you're talking about. This is a human being that's been through HELL! Stop the hate and comedy relief comments. Pray for him. Peace!

    July 26, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rory

    Unfortunately it looks as if all his lower teeth will need to be extracted. There appears to be severe periodontitis. Such a shame as the procedure seems to have been a success only to have part of it thwarted due to poor preventative services.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anvenger206

      maybe you need to use your dentistry skills to brush the teeth of corpses that may potntially be donors then Rory. I think your NASCAR is on now.

      July 26, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
  13. Tim

    That's miraculous.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Drew Williams

    Looks like your father's Rough Rider broke, and tragically, you were conceived.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. charlie

    Ay I'll contribute to any a-hole commenting bad stuff to jumping off a cliff, as long as I can watch you hit the ground

    July 26, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MadHatter

      I want to be the one to push these soulless a-holes off the cliff. Hell, with jumping.

      July 26, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
  16. Yar

    Perhaps not yet. They transplanted the facial muscles too and it will take time for his nervous system to "learn" how to control the new facial muscles.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Springsgranny

    How very, very sad that some of you people can't have compassion for this poor man who has suffered so much. You would be the ones to point and stare instead of silently thanking God that it wasn't you or one of your family. How totally selfish, and thoughtless you are. You have no feelings or decency and, it's funny, but Karma has a way of coming around and biting you...remember, what goes around, comes around. Be careful how you treat people!!!!!

    July 26, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Wing

    Michelle, is calling someone narrow-minded the open-minded option? This is an advancement for science, but do you honestly expect us to believe that if you saw Oscar walking down the street, you would be righteous enough not to double-take or avert your gaze or wonder what had happened? I highly doubt it. It's sad what happened to Oscar, but criticizing people who find this frightening doesn't make you any better.

    I'm happy for Oscar and the new life he can have – and the self-confidence it must bring him – but I am also honest enough to say that if I saw him on the street – especially without knowledge of this story – I would be confused and wonder what happened to him. That's not narrow-mindedness, that's human nature.

    So please, get off your soapbox, for just as it is wrong to make fun of Oscar, it is wrong to to make fun of those with differing views.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      I had a student whose face was disfigured. His eyes were not in the right place, and his mouth was not right. It is a very normal human reaction to feel horror and revulsion, and I confess a bit of both. I cannot imagine I was able to completely hide these emotions, at least not the first time I saw him, but he did not seem to notice. He was very cheerful, and the other students seemed to like him, too.

      The key is not to pretend we are not affected, but to move on to the better parts of our selves. The posters who make jokes about Oscar's looks clearly have not been able to move on yet. Let us hope they are actually more mature in their daily lives.

      July 26, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • person

      i agree with you!!!!

      July 28, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
  19. Mickey

    What a miracle... Not bad at all... love love love....

    July 26, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ConnerFan

      Always Always Always. 🙂

      July 26, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
  20. PatriotAwake

    Oscar you are a hero! God bless your bravery and determination. Everyone that follows in your steps owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have risked.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Ken

    Is it perfect? No, but I'm sure it's better than what he had before. As with anything, the beginning is never perfect, but only the start of a long series of improvements. But you have to start somewhere. I hope that this gives this guy some relief.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. tylermathers

    ^^ this guy thought that "lip-piercing " line was SO FUNNY that he posted it twice in three minutes. Please, sir, get a life, and when you try to be witty and fail miserably, don't bring down the Red Sox name with you when you go down in flames.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Drew Williams

    I'll second that sentiment, Tyler.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. tylermathers

    If there's ever been a comment SO WITTY as to post twice in three minutes, that HAD to be it. I think we've seen a paradigm shift in the fundamental framework of wit and comedy.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Paul

    It's easy for cowards to sit behind a screen and make jokes. You are probably the same ones who sit in your room on Friday nights watching porn and playing with your PS3 in mom's basement.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Charles

    Oh come on people! The man looks odd. That is a true statement. If he walks out in public, he will gets comments. It isn't cruel to state the obvious. Compassion has nothing to do with this. If a person walks around town with a rubber chicken tied to their head, are we supposed to ignore the thing? How do you think this man will survive if he doesn't have a sense of humor? Simple, he won't.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chari

      You, Charles, are pathetic. My husband's name is Charles and you are nothing like him, not even a fraction of the man he is. And yes, I am basing that soley on your humorless, mean spirited post.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Bonnie

      Yes, he does look odd. And I'll bet he knows it without you to tell him about it. Why do you need to state the obvious if it is as obvious as you say? Why not make some encouraging comment instead?

      July 26, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Charles, you are correct that Oscar doesn't look normal, and may never. And the world's small-minded people like you are the ones who stare, point and laugh at others. Grow up and try being an aware and compassionate adult.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • Tikee

      Why is it cruel to state the obvious? The guy is going to be stared at in public because we as humans look at the physical first. He's still odd looking. Children are going to outright stare, adults are going to stare on the sly.

      July 26, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Like a small child who doesn't know how to stop themselves from saying exactly what they think! No one is holding him up as good looking. The point is to give him a functioning face again. Someone in the comments has posted a link to "before" pictures. Why don't you go look at that if you need to help to understand what the big deal is??

      July 26, 2010 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Roundhouse

      I gave this kid a roundhouse that would make Chuck Norris nod

      July 26, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      I can come up to you and say hey you have a small Dick and be stating the obvious wouldnt it hurt your feelings?

      July 26, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
  27. David

    It would be very traumatic to have so serious an accident happen. Obviously there are still surgical issues to overcome, but this person has a chance at a better life than he would have had if the surgery were unavailable. I suspect he will need further surgery. I wish him all the best, and I hope that there are no medical complications or, barring that, as few as possible.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Fuyujo

    Good for him. Imagine being in his shoes.I am glad the operation is going so well.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. artrain

    my father was a pastic surgeon that specialized the traumatic injuries such as this, his brother ( maxillo-facial surgeon) worked with him. They never did a case this complex but it is an example of the advancement of our medical community and the bravery of this individual.
    The rest of you with your nasty, negative comments, I hope you get to experience the joy of a traumatic facial injury. I was assaulted by some skinheads and had the worst case of blunt force trauma my treating physician had ever seen. It took me years to learn how to eat, talk and communicate, again. I salute Oscar and will pray for his complete recovery!
    Jerks!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Drew Williams

    I see, so the crass comments and licenses to be a**holes are completely understandable. If you don't have anything decent to say, shy not shut up entirely.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Shawn

    God Bless

    July 26, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. TheWonderHorse

    Just amazing. I'm so glad that they were able to do this for this gentleman. I'd like to see the before picture too, to show what a HUGE difference there is here. So many people are complaining about how bad this looks but i bet it was a lot worse.

    For this being the first full face transplant they did an ASTOUNDING job, and hopefully the man who received it is happy. After all, that's all that matters!

    Also: I would be so weirded out to imagine having someone elses mandible! Wow!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Anth

    I hope it gets better and works out for him

    July 26, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. artrain

    my father was a pastic surgeon that specialized the traumatic injuries such as this, his brother ( maxillo-facial surgeon) worked with him. They never did a case this complex but it is an example of the advancement of our medical community and the bravery of this individual.
    The rest of you with your nasty, negative comments, I hope you get to experience the joy of a traumatic facial injury. I was assaulted by some skinheads and had the worst case of blunt force trauma my treating physician had ever seen. It took me years to learn how to eat, talk and communicate, again. I salute Oscar and will pray for his complete recovery!
    Jerks!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Meeee

    Who is DAve?

    July 26, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Drew Williams

    Shaddup, you tremendous bag of gas.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Bob U

    Moron. You need to get a life.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Louise

    Congratulations to the medical personnel and researchers who made this possible. I am delighted that this man now again has something that most of us probably take for granted, and I wish him well. I have a friend who lost the lower half of his face - nose, mouth, and became legally blind due to an accident. He has to take his nutrition by pouring it down a hole in his throat. I hope that some day he is able to have this kind of surgery so he won't be subjected to the kind of cruel comments that some people have made on this thread.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. tellyou1nce

    i am humbled... the skill of the doctors and the courage of this man... i have such minor problems in my life, thankfully.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OriginalMFer

      ...I know! Right!

      July 26, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
  40. Drew Williams

    The Roundhouses of the world think they're really cool radicals when they show up to take their various sh*ts.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roundhouse

      Thank you

      July 26, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • Drew Williams

      You're also a premier twatwho shoould be ignored, which I will now do.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • Roundhouse

      You can't ignore me, you're my roommate.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  41. Fred

    The article only said he lost his face in an accident. Where did you get the information that "he did it to himself"?

    July 26, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MomsLips

      Is it true he only had a few options for facial expressions?: Happy, sad, and utterly-dumbfounded?

      July 26, 2010 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • roughrider09

      Dude, i just pissed my pants from laughing so hard....

      July 26, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • person

      you are very mean he hardly had a face before so you are just plain rude!!!!!!!

      July 28, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • person

      i meant i agree with edwin

      July 28, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
  42. Justin

    http://www.boiseweekly.com/images/blogimages/2009/08/21/1250886166-michael_jackson.jpg

    I have compassion for this poor fellow and what he has endured. I would hate to go through ANYTHING similar to what he has been through. Still, this surgery gives him a Michael Jackson look. See image above. I mean it's certainly better than NOT having a face, but this technology has a LONG ways to go.

    Still, I hope it has bettered his life some and he can at least live a semi-normal existence.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. b-dog

    Wait another 6 months for the swelling to go down.... and for the nerves to start learning the new cells and he will look like any one on the street.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OriginalMFer

      ...agree 100% – although this article makes me want to wear a full motorcycle helmet from now on.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
  44. newsey

    I wonder how long it's been since he's had the surgery. I saw the woman who was disfigured terribly by a monkey, she keeps improving and improving. Bless the doctors who perform this surgery. Continued improvement to this man.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OriginalMFer

      I cant believe the lady that got the face transplant continued to SMOKE cigarettes after the surgery. That was pretty bad IMO, I guess nicotine is one hell of a monkey on your back.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
  45. Jason

    i can not any thing through his eyes.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mark

    You should keep the donor's family in mind as well. I am all for organ donations. I just don't know if I would have what it takes to give a family member's face away with the thought that some time in the future, I might run into that person with my relative's face! Almost sci-fi in a way. That would be too much to handle!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OriginalMFer

      The face will not be the same as theirs was... as bone structure dictates 90% of most facial features.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I agree that the supporting bone structure will dictate a lot of what the face will look like. But, in this case, a lot of the supporting bones under the face were also replaced. It's a great thing that they have done for this man, but at the same time, we have to admit that there will be some "spooky" aspects as this moves forward and medicine improves this process.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
  47. Brian

    I'm suprised he still alive. One would think about the trauma he went and the subsequent horrors that his face was, that he would have taken his own life at this point.
    But, courage I guess, and at least this is better than it was before.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nej

      Wow, what a horrible thing to assume. Just because he went through something traumatic and lost his face, the only natural outcome is for someone to take their own life?

      July 26, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  48. DKB

    At least now he has a jaw, and can chew and swallow his own food. Has a nose to breathe through and has teeth! I think having people look at him because he can't yet use the muscles to close his mouth is insignificant to not having a face at all!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. OriginalMFer

    Kudos to this individual for showing us how far medicine has actually advanced.
    He look GREAT! Most of the people making negative comments in this section are missing more things on the inside of their skulls than this Man ever lost outside of his. Good luck with your recovery Sir.. I ,for one...applaud & respect your bravery and courage.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. deadhead1971

    "Like I told you, what I said, steal your face right off your head."

    July 26, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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