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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. Beandog4144

    Amazing...yet somewhat curious. Science is no doubt amazing but I can't help but want to understand what this person is thinking or better yet how they feel. Just amazing.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sanity

    Can a CNN moderator PLEASE go through and wipe out all of this inane nonsense, and leave the decent comments on the actual STORY?

    July 26, 2010 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Oscar

    Thank you Roundhouse. You're humorous comments have given me a reason to keep living despite my horrible, horrible face.

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

      See, Oscar likes me. I don't see him commenting on your posts. Eat this FALCON PUNCH!!!

      July 26, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
  4. crowdaddyo

    Im very happy for this guy. I can only imagine what he used to look like compared to how good he looks now. Just wait another 20 years and they might be doing brain transplants.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kely

    One of the reasons his face is so slack is because he has to gain control of the minute facial muscles. considering how extensive the damage area was, and how much was new foreign matter to his face he looks wonderful.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Drew Williams

    Droopy Dog: I don't like you!

    July 26, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Danny

    I see a South Park episode on this.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Roger Waters

    He was an Extra on The Wall.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. zingo

    Bravo for the docs. Bravo for this man's courage to exhibit himself. Although Oscar's situation was accidental ,this makes me realize how stupid it is to hurt other human beings with intended violence. It's so easy to have someone disfigured for life, and cause so much suffering. Too much cartoon-like Hollywood violence, without examining the reality of the consequences.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. GEORGE

    Hope the best for this individual, you need to look at yourself in the mirror before judging others.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sharon

    The technology of today is amazing. You know this man has to be grateful beyond words and so brave! Nine failed surgeries and then willing to do this? The skin texture looks wonderful. I'm sure they are not done with him yet but reading what they replaced, simply a miracle – God given talent at work. Praise to "Oscar" and all those involved in his process.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Kelly

    Yahoo has an entire slideshow of photos of this guy, both before and after which really gives you an idea of how much better he looks. It'll be really interesting to see how things progress for him in the next few years.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nightmare

    "Full face transplant patient appears in public" and scares the living crap out of everyone...

    July 26, 2010 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      But he should not feel he has to hide away the rest of his life...

      July 26, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
  14. Nancy

    Hats off to the surgeons who performed this miracle. Hats off to Oscar for never giving up hope! What a brave person to endure all of this, best wishes to him!

    July 26, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Diana

    the movie is MASK

    July 26, 2010 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Justice

    I believe this guy oversaw my child custody battle and messed it all up!!!

    July 26, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sam

    Karma is real as these people showing disrespect will find out-now or later.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      Sam: you may hope Karma is real, but the truth is that most of the posters do not feel guilty about making cruel jokes. It is just like on the Elementary School playground, when the cool kids tease the geeky kid: afterwards, they do not feel bad at all. Most posters act like they are in grade school, after all...

      But if you are worried, realize this: Oscar will almost certainly never read these comments. So they are not really hurting him, just demonstrating their own immaturity.

      July 26, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  18. Edwin

    Based on the picture, I wonder how much muscle control he has over the mouth and cheeks, and how much sense of touch he has. After nine other operations, some of the nerves may no longer work properly (plus, they are trying to connect to what is essentially foreign tissue).

    This article is pretty thin when it comes to details...

    July 26, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sartori42

      Agreed. I wish there was more details in the article. I think it would be interesting to know what the surgeons hoped would happen and what difficulties they ran into. Did they learn things that would improve this type of procedure in the future? I would like to know what their prognosis is for 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years. Then, it would be interesting to check back in on Oscar and see how he progresses. This is cutting edge stuff, and very interesting.

      July 26, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  19. ngmcs8203

    Either Mask with Rocky and Cher or the scene for Total Recall where Arnold's woman face starts melting off.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Photographer

    Geez, at least he could have smiled.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. adam

    This man has 2000% more courage to show his face to the world than the anonymous idiots posting comments here who hide behind their monitors.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. BraveNewWorld

    Medical technology is certainly amazing. I am only befuddled that someone had to die to give their face to Oscar. Since brain death is not in fact death (e.g. person is still alive and biologically functional), they had to murder someone to give Oscar a new face. This is evidenced by Japan, a country that disallows the brain death diagnosis, because in fact, the person is not dead. My question is why it is deemed okay for Oscar to receive the face of one who has been murdered by the medical establishment. The surgical capabilities are amazing, but this is a fruit of our culture of death.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Karen

    To go from not having a face to having a face is a miracle. Bless you, Oscar, and may you continue to recover in all ways.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. co1lateral

    This sorta reminds me of that movie face off miracles of modern science huh

    Anyways best of luck "Oscar"

    July 26, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. FaceVideo

    Check this video out... demonstrates how they are able to regain function sometime after surgery (especially woman in France)... Perhaps showing this "face" is premature given the significant recovery to follow...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7910582/Spanish-man-who-had-worlds-first-full-face-transplant-speaks.html

    July 26, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Kaye

    I just hope everyone who had a negative or not at all funny comment doesnt have to experince anything at all like this. Why do people have to be so cruel?

    July 26, 2010 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kaye

      Does anyone know what Karma is?

      July 26, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
  27. Chris

    Ah, there's nothing like some good old fashioned ignorant American hate to round out a thread about someone else's tragedy.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Rayal

    Keep in mind that many of the nasty comments in here are children who are out of school. They say the most vile of things in order to draw attention to themselves. A dead give away is they sometimes use their real name or they use a name that is obvious of their intent, which is to be as cruel as possible for a forum post with zero compassion for other people. That in itself is another problem as these snot nose brats grow up and become our criminals of the future. Parents...go in there room against their whining and get on their computer and READ what they are posting when you are away. CNN gives us the opportunity to post our real opinions, but they can't stop the snots.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Hmmm... tempting to think that but I'm not so sure!

      July 26, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Rayal

      @MrsFizzy Really....your not so sure? How many adults do you know that would say such remarks either in person on on forums? Think about it a bit. Look at this Drew Williams below...that is clearly an immature kid. I Googled his name and he shows up on other forums as well, doing the very same thing. In one he is actually identified by a person from where he lives. This guy tells him, "Its a shame your dad isn't alive, because if he had seen what you are saying he would have beaten your a**."

      Its not that hard to figure out. I can ignore the kids, but its hard to ignore adults who assume they are talking to a mature adult, when its some little attention starved kid on his home computer.

      July 26, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  29. Mary

    Here's the before picture:

    Hopefully that will help some of you understand how much better he looks.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JC-VA

    This is a great new, HA! and it happened somewhere else besides US!!! For all of you AMERICANS making cruel comments, just hope you never have to be on his shoes because the world will make fun of you as well and you will have to keep your distroyed face.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Yeah, will your HMO pay for that?? Some of these people are so shallow anyway they'd just kill themselves – Can't imagine any life beyond the outward physical one (no I am not trying to talk religion).

      July 26, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  31. pam

    this chick looks hotter than most of the fat pigs in america today.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. rottoneggs

    Wow. I realize this only gets better with time as the nerves start to be able to regenerate, but this looks very, very good right now. You can see that this man has a chance at a very normal face. Congratulations, sweetheart. What a wonderful time we live in that modern technology and health care can do such great things for people.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. PLA

    It is actually a very attractive face...just very swollen right now. Once he regains his facial functions, he will most likely be a very handsome young man.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maverick

    To Oscar, Bravo for your courage and all hopes for a well recovery.

    To the flame-haters, do you really think retorts at their mindless comments will have any sort of impact if they are heartless enough to make those comments in the first place? Let them rant so people know them ignorant, and focus on Oscar instead. HE is the story.

    To the flamers...

    July 26, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ConcernedOutOurCountrysDirection

    Seeing and reading all the extremely insensitive comments (ie – it's all about me and my entitlements) makes it so obvious why Obama got elected.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. madison19

    D'oh!
    SHUT THE UP! Now that was meant as screaming. Who decided things like capitals means screaming. This is America remember. Freedom of speech and freedom to type as one wants. Get over yourself and think about this brave boy who to me looks great.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Sam

    If his face was so damaged that he needed an entirely new one, how is he still alive in the first place? Shouldn't the accident have killed him? How could doctors have so little compassion to believe that someone wants to keep on living with so much lost? Did he want a new face? Whose decision was it? He may be happy with the results but did he have a choice? This goes back to the whole right to die Jack Kevorkian movement, with a dash of Vanilla Sky thrown in. But these are legitimate questions in an era when we try to desperately extend, alter, and simulate real life in any way possible. Doctors would argue the patient may have lost his face but he still has life, and most people would agree that is the best compromise. But isn't a human face a life in itself? What are we without faces? More disturbing is the fact that we are actually experiencing what we are without faces, a scenario that should not exist because of the horrible doors it opens. What's next? A mere living head? A mere living mouth? A mere living heart? A life without a face isn't a life because a face IS life, an integral part of our existence that we are not meant to be without. So therefore isn't giving someone a new face, actually giving them death on earth? A dead life? Puppeteering the human body just for the sake of keeping life will satisfy every thirst (egotistical, medical, commercial, technological) except for actual life itself. As much as we try, we will never replicate it.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      At first I thought you were being wryly sardonic, examining the vain nature of man in an amusing way, then I realized you were dead serious - that you actually believe that life isn't worth living without your face.. So very, very sad you are, Sam.

      July 26, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      @ John: if we can give life to bodies without faces, can we give life to faces without bodies? Can you imagine existence without an entire body, just a head connected to a machine? The head can speak, interact, think. But it's not a living being anymore. It's a head. We are not designed as just heads. We're designed as a whole lot more. And if you take away parts, or replace them, or alter them, it's a death on a smaller scale and we lose humanity. Even if the head were to receive a body, it is not the body it came with, and is therefore not intended. We must live once and die once, we can't be remade or reborn. Why does this society surrender unconditionally to science and medicine? This is Nazi Frankensciene at best. It is NOT compassionate and it is not ethical. Doctors aren't God. And patients aren't immortal.

      July 26, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • mmhm

      a very vain attempt to perpetuate life.

      i always thought it was about quality and not quantity anyway

      July 26, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
  38. Patricia

    I see no reason to make fun on this man. I think it is remarkable what medicine can do today. For those of you who find it funny, would it be funny if you were in his shoes.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mmhm

      is it remarkable that this man is walking around with a misshapen face?

      the medical technology is still in development. this is a botch job.

      July 26, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  39. Hooligan

    I have seen several comments stating this man is a hero. I would not necessarily claim this man is a hero but rather a brave individual who chose the only possible solution for the situation he was in. I am sure that over time as technology and medicine improves, the noticeable aspects of his features will be treated and become less obvious. Overall, an amazing feat that needs to be celebrated.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Big Jim Slade

    I too am amazed by this story, and amazed at the cruelty of some of the people commenting. The truth of the matter is there are cold, heartless people out there. They even have a name. They're called "Republicans."

    July 26, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. MrsFizzy

    What a disgrace to the human race some of these comments! I've seen a few other articles re. face transplants which actually showed "before" pictures and I don't doubt this result is a miracle for him. The point is to give people a functional face again so they can eat, drink, breathe, close their eyes, somewhat normally! Maybe one day they can dream that doctors can make them as "attractive" as you are! For now, they have higher priorities! Best of luck, Oscar!

    July 26, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Doug K.

    Can he show any sign of emotions through his face? If not, I think this is a medical marvel but one that may have not yet truly accomplishing its apparent intended purpose. Non-verbal facial expressions are so key to relating to people, otherwise it seems to me it is much the same as a mask (from a social relations point of view).

    July 26, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Hater

    Looks like he combs his hair with a shotgun.

    July 26, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • yup

      HAHAHHAHAHA!

      July 26, 2010 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • jake

      LOL... This really cracked me up. Kudos to you sir, I don't hardly ever laugh at people's nonsense

      July 26, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
  44. Chuck

    And on that note...is that picture before or after?

    July 26, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. anvenger206

    Perhaps the next advancement will be a whole head transplant, to replace the small ignorent minds of the negative posters on here. THAT would be a miracle!

    July 26, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      LOL Nah, that would be a waste, they're not worth it!

      July 26, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
  46. Richard T

    God Bless this young man for having the courage to show his new face to the world. He is giving hope to those others who have faced tremendous odds and pain due to a physical malady. Bravo to those doctors who have mastered their tecniques in this medical field, their work is absolutely amazing. I'm sure that a year or two from now, he'll be living a much more of a normal life than he was ever able to hope for. We should all get down on our knees and be thankful that we've never had to face such a life altering accident, and be thankful now that there are doctors out there who are so dedicated to ensuring that the quality of life is the very best that it can be.

    July 26, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. MadHatter

    And to think that God created each of you — those who take pleasure in using this courageous and beautiful soul for your moments of pure stupidity and cruel comments.

    I doubt if any of you making these comments are capable to walk in this gentlemen's shoes. And why would you?

    My guess is that most of you mentioned in the above sentence are undesirable or alone. Maybe some of you come from broken homes or failed marriages and/or relationships. Or maybe you haven't accomplished much in your lives or it could be that time is running out for one of you and it's just too late to leave a legacy to be recognized. How 'bout this?

    Since most of you in that group are delusional, maybe some of you think you have friends, but fail to not see that they're doing the very same thing to you. Lots of things can be posted and maybe, at this very moment, someone is posting something just God-awful about you. Possibly making fun of your unfortunate situation. Wouldn't that just be the cherry on the pie!!! I think so!!! Think about this. Now think hard, since most of you named here do not have a fully-loaded brain that's capable of comprehending. Wouldn't it be fun to take your misfortune and turn it full-throttle against you. Hell, plaster it on CNN.com, why don't we and watch the torment unfold.

    But you know what, I wouldn't do that. BUT YOU WOULD.

    Why is it, that we tolerate comments and people such as yourself? Maybe, it's because you hide behind the very thing that allowed your cruel comments — your computer, your keyboard and your username. Who are each of you really? Or are you something that we'll forget about within the next several hours and move on, because you're not worth thinking about. That's how much you matter to each of us here. You don't. You just don't matter.

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

      there is no God

      July 26, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
    • Unconscious

      Apparently you care enough to post this wall of text?

      July 27, 2010 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
  48. TrudyBird

    Just as I was having hope for humankind's character I read the last several posts and realize we are lost.
    God bless this young man. May he continue to heal and may his life get better and better.

    July 26, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. EducationMinded

    I'd like to see a documentary about the science behind this. Like on DiscoveryHealth or something. I wonder if this can be an option for Juliana Wetmore... although I know her situation involves bone structure as well.

    July 26, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Lillianne

    Anonymous comments say more about the posters than the subject and photo.

    This gentleman as well as the ladies who have agreed to this extremely dangerous experiment have helped to advance medicine every bit as much as the doctors who performed the operations and studied it for years. Someday it will be as ho-hum and ordinary as heart transplants are today because of people like this.

    July 26, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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