A Spanish man who underwent the world's first full face transplant appeared before television cameras on Monday, for the first time since his surgery in March.
“Friends, I want to thank the hospital coordinators, the entire medical team, the family of the donor and most of all, my family, who are supporting me these days,” said the 31-year-old, who was identified only as Oscar.
Speaking just before checking out of hospital, Oscar spoke with considerable difficulty. He could not close his mouth and his face appeared swollen.
The man reportedly suffered injuries in a shooting accident five years ago.
A team of about 30 experts carried out the transplant on March 20 at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron hospital on Oscar, who could not swallow, breathe or talk normally due to injuries from the accident.
During the 24-hour-long operation, the man received new facial muscles, skin, nose, lips, a jaw, teeth, a palate and cheekbones, the leader of the medical team that carried out the procedure, Joan Pere Barret, told the news conference.
While 11 other face transplants have been carried out around the world previously, Vall d'Hebron hospital says those involved only part of the patient's face.
Keywords: face transplantation,