Ghent University Hospital performs face transplant

Summary

A team of surgeons at the University Hospital in Ghent has carried out the country’s first face transplant in an operation lasting 20 hours, which required the services of 65 medical staff.

© Belga
 
© Belga

A team of surgeons at the University Hospital in Ghent has carried out the country’s first face transplant in an operation lasting 20 hours, which required the services of 65 medical staff.

The operation was carried out under the supervision of surgeon Phillip Blondeel (pictured), the university’s professor of plastic surgery. The patient was said to be a man, though no further details, including the cause of the facial disfigurement, were released. It was revealed, however, that the operation has been in preparation for three year, awaiting a suitable donor. The operation involved the transplant of skin and bone – the largest amount of bone ever transplanted in an operation of this sort.

The first-ever partial facial transplant took place in France six years ago, and the first full-face operation was done in Barcelona in 2010. The patient, Professor Blondeel said, is already able to speak and drink water. The hospital plans to release more details of the operation this coming weekend. Check next week’s Flanders Today for the full story.

Ghent University Hospital performs face transplant

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