Boston hospital performs 2nd full-face transplant

Posted April 26, 2011, at 9:29 p.m.

BOSTON — Doctors at a Boston hospital have performed the nation’s second full-face transplant, less than a month after the first.

A team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital worked for more than 14 hours last week to replace the full facial area of 30-year-old Mitch Hunter of Speedway, Ind.

The procedure replaced Hunter’s nose, eyelids, lips, facial animation muscles and the nerves that power them and provide sensation. Hunter suffered his injuries from a high-voltage electrical wire after a 2001 car accident.

The donor family requested anonymity.

The lead surgeon, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, said the procedure went smoothly and they expect Hunter to have a successful recovery and new life.

A Texas construction worker received a new face at the hospital last month. About a dozen face transplants have been done worldwide, in the U.S., France, Spain and China.

The world’s first face transplant, a partial face transplant, was done in France in 2005 on a woman mauled by her dog. The nation’s first, also a partial, was at the Cleveland Clinic in 2008.

The Boston hospital has placed on a waiting list for a face and hands transplant Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman mauled by a friend’s chimpanzee two years ago.

 

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