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Updated: July 26, 2010 23:21 IST

Man with transplanted face appears on TV

AFP
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Oscar, who underwent a full-face transplant in April, and Dr. Joan Barret after appearing in public for the first time in a news conference at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, July 26, 2010.
AP Oscar, who underwent a full-face transplant in April, and Dr. Joan Barret after appearing in public for the first time in a news conference at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, July 26, 2010.

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.

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