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World’s first life-saving face transplant by Polish doctors! Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Polish doctors have carried out the world’s first life-saving face transplant (przeszczep twarzy), weeks after a 33-year-old man was disfigured by a machine in a workplace accident.

It is Poland’s first face transplant and also the first in the world done to save the patient’s life.

The man, an employee at a stonemason’s workshop and only identified as Grzegorz, was severely maimed on April 23, when a machine used to cut stone ripped out a large chunk of his face.

An attempt to reattach it failed – though it saved the man’s vision and and a part of his face – and because of the breadth and depth of the lesions “his life was on the line”.

Doctors were lucky to find a donor within two weeks, a man in his thirties whose family immediately agreed to the operation.

A team of doctors at the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in the southern city of Gliwice – the only one licenced to perform face transplants in Poland – performed the 27-hour facial surgery on May 15, with the patient’s full consent.

He and his family approved the action plan and the associated risks. He was even enthusiastic.

Now, a week later, “his condition is still serious because it was a huge operation … (but) he is breathing on his own. Unable to speak, he is communicating via head and hand movements,” the doctor added.

Polish media published a photograph of the man flashing a thumbs-up from his hospital bed, with thick black stitches encircling his face.

“The patient will be able to eat, breathe and see. In eight months’ time, he should have full facial motor control.”

French doctors carried out the world’s first successful face transplant in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog.

Since then, over 20 other transplants have been carried out worldwide, including in Belgium, Spain, Turkey and the US.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.