Skooter reporting 03/28/12
The nation’s most inclusive face transplant was publicly discussed by Physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center during a news conference Tuesday.
The subject was Richard Norris, 37, underwent a complete face transplant on March 19. Over the course of 36 hours, the transplant involved upper and lower jaw bones, teeth, a portion of the tongue and soft tissue from the hairline to the neck.
Norris is from Hillsville, Va., where in 1997 according to doctors, he was injured in a gun accident, had lost his lips and nose and had limited use of his mouth. Prior to the transplant, he had undergone multiple surgeries.
Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, led the transplant and was assisted with more than 150 doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Dr. Rodriguez is an associate professor of surgery at Maryland’s School of Medicine and chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
The severe injuries of Norris, Rodriguez said, prevented him from being a fully-integrated member of society. Norris was recovering better than as expected. In fact he was already using mirror to shave, moving his tongue and he is on a clear-liquid diet, Rodriguez said.
Norris was living behind a mask, he did his shopping at night, went through thorough psychological tests and will be monitored for many years to make sure he’s fully integrated into society, Rodriguez explained.
Reportedly, Norris face transplant is the 23rd that have been performed around the world, although similar transplant have been performed also in the U.S. that includes full-face transplants at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.