14 (Xinhua) -- Doctors in northwest China have performed the country's first
face transplant, and the second such operation in the world.
|A doctor shows the image of the
country's first face transplant, and the second such operation in the
world. (Xinhua Photo) |
President of the Xijing Hospital, in Xi'an, capital
of Shaanxi Province, Zhang Yingzhi announced news of the transplant here on
"The surgery is even more complex than the first face
transplant in France in Nov. last year," said Han Yan, deputy director with the
hospital's plastic surgery department.
The patient, Li Guoxing, 30, had two thirds of his
face -- mostly on the right side -- replaced in an operation that lasted 14
hours and ended on Friday morning.
Surgeons in France carried out the world's first such
operation on a 38-year-old Isabelle Dinoire whose lips and nose were ripped off
by a dog.
Li Guoxing was given a new cheek, upper lip, nose,
and an eyebrow from a single donor.
Li's face, nevertheless, had been marred when he was
assaulted by a bear in 2004. He has since lived as a recluse because of his
The hospital performed the surgery free of charge
after learning of his plight and his poverty.
Li was recovering satisfactorily, said Guo Shuzhong,
director of the plastic surgery department, who performed the transplant.
However, it would take six months for feeling to be
established in his new face, Guo said.
He also needed to overcome psychological and ethical
problems. "His wife may take a long time to adjust to his new face," he said.
Guo said that the donor was male and had been
declared brain-dead before the operation, but his next of kin had requested that
no further information be published.
The Xijing Hospital successfully performed a facial
skin transplant operation on a rabbit in December, transplanting half the skin
tissue from a New Zealand rabbit on to a local animal.
A fortnight later, the rabbit was in good condition
with the eye on the transplanted side blinking naturally, the hospital said.
About 1 million people in China suffer from severe
facial disfigurements each year with at least five percent suffering from
inoperable conditions. Enditem