News

    Doctors Call World's First Full Face Transplant A Resounding Success

    Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., Chief of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center talks with reporters about the most extensive full face transplant completed to date performed on Richard Lee Norris, pictu
    Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., Chief of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center talks with reporters about the most extensive full face transplant completed to date performed on Richard Lee Norris, pictu
    Carol Pearson

    U.S. doctors have performed what they say is the most extensive face transplant ever. In addition to getting an entirely new face, the male patient also received a new jaw, new teeth and a tongue. Our reporter has more on the surgical procedure that has been restoring people's lives.

    It's been little more than six years between this news conference in France and this one at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    In 2005, French doctors stunned the world by announcing they had given Isabelle Dinoire a donor's nose, lips, chin and parts of her cheek. Dinoire had been horribly disfigured by a dog attack.

    At the University of Maryland on March 27, doctors unveiled a picture of Richard Norris when he was 18, a nice-looking man before a gun accident cost him his nose, lips and most movement of his mouth and jaw. His disfigurement had made him a recluse.

    In an operation that lasted 36 hours, Norris received new upper and lower jaws, new teeth and most of the donor's tongue in addition to his face from the scalp to the neck.   

    Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez led the surgical team.

    "[This is] Mr. Richard Norris only six days after his surgical procedure," he said.

    "When we look at the donor and we look at the recipient, obviously it's a blend of two individuals," said Rodriguez. "Clearly there are some specific features, like the nose and maybe chin, but behind that soft tissue draping, behind that skin, it is Richard Norris."

    Milestones in face transplant surgery

    • 2012 U.S. - University of Maryland physicians carry out what they call the most extensive face transplant ever performed.
    • 2011 U.S. - Three full face transplants performed at Brigham and Women's Hospital
    • 2008 U.S. - Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic perform the first face transplant to include bone, muscle, skin, blood vessel and nerve transplants
    • 2008 France - Doctors perform what they call the world's first successful full face transplant
    • 2005 France - Isabelle Dinoire becomes the first person to undergo a face transplant after her face was ravaged by her dog

    For the past 10 years, the medical center has worked to perfect surgical treatments for injured war veterans.

    The medical team says Norris's surgery is the most extensive full-face transplant to date and the first time a face transplant was performed by a surgical team that specializes in facial and reconstructive surgery and dentistry. Dr. Rodriguez recalls Norris's reaction after seeing his new face.

    ''He put the mirror down and he thanked me and hugged me," he said. "It was a wonderful gift to give him.  And ever since that day, we could see that we were going to restore those 15 years that he lost and make him a functioning member of society once again."

    Only six days after surgery, doctors said they are pleased with his progress.

    ''Richard Norris as we see him today with a skeleton," said Dr. Rodriguez. "Everything has been perfectly aligned, restoring the normal height, width and projection."

    The doctors say the experience gained in previous face transplants beginning with that first one in France, helped them perfect the technique they used to give Richard Norris a second chance at a normal life.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.