before it's in the papers"
August 03, 2010
TO THE WORLD SCIENCE HOME PAGE
Face transplant patient said to be healing
and World Science staff
The world’s second face transplant, performed in China, has been a success so far, Chinese media reported April 25.
According to state media, the nerves of the donated tissue received by the recipient, Li Guoxing, are alive and active.
Guoxing received the transplant in the Xijing Hospital in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. A hospital source described both the physical and mental condition of Li as “pretty good,” according to the Xinhua news agency.
The hospital showed a video of the patient on Tuesday. The video, recorded earlier in the day, showed that the sutures on Li’s face had been removed and the swelling of his face had gone down, according to hospital sources. A nurse brought him eggs and steamed bread, and the patient ate while listening to people chatting.
Li’s smile remained lopsided as the nerves on the right side of his face aren’t functioning properly, but the left side of his face appeared to show his happiness with the procedure, according to doctors cited by Chinese media.
Guo Shuzhong, one of Li’s doctors, told Xinhua that the speed of recovery has exceeded the hospital’s expectations. The patient will stay in a special ward for 30 days to prevent possible infections, Guo added.
Li was mauled by a bear in 2004. He received a new cheek, upper lip, nose, and eyebrow from a donor who had been pronounced brain-dead. The operation took place almost two weeks ago.
Previously, surgeons in France carried out the world’s first, partial face transplant on Isabelle Dinoire, 38, whose dog had bitten off her lips and nose.
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