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University Of Maryland Succeeds In Most Comprehensive Face Transplant To Date

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Richard Lee Norris Prom Picture (Credit: UMMS Photos)

Richard Lee Norris Prom Picture (Credit: UMMS Photos)

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BALTIMORE, Md. (CBSDC) - The University of Maryland released details today of the most extensive full face transplant completed to date, including both jaws, teeth, and tongue.

Physicians discussed the 36-hour procedure on Tuesday morning at the hospital in Baltimore.

They say the recipient was 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia, who was injured in 1997 in a gun accident.  Since then, he has undergone multiple life-saving and reconstructive surgeries. Norris lost his lips and nose from the injury with very limited movement of his mouth.  He first came to the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2005 to discuss reconstructive options with Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez.

Dr. Rodriguez spoke about the procedure after. “We utilized innovative surgical practices and computerized techniques to precisely transplant the mid-face, maxilla and mandible including teeth, and a portion of the tongue.” He continued, “In addition, the transplant included all facial soft tissue from the scalp to the neck, including the underlying muscles to enable facial expression, and sensory and motor nerves to restore feeling and function.”

It took a team of doctors to assist Rodriguez and make the transplant a success; a collaboration of Drs. Stephen Bartlett and Rolf Barth. The tireless effort also included a team of over 150 nurses and other professional staff.

Due to the graphic nature of the photographs, we have included two separate links to the Before-and-After pictures of the patient, for those who would like to see the transformation.

Before the operation…

After the operation…

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