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New face and hands for burns victim

DOZENS of doctors working in teams over 30 hours performed the world's first simultaneous partial-face and double-hand transplant over the weekend, hospital authorities said in Paris on Monday.

They described the recipient as a 30-year-old burns victim. The man, whose name was not released, was injured in a 2004 accident that left him with scars "preventing any social life," they said.

The operation, at the Henri Mondor hospital, was the world's sixth partial-face transplant but the first to include hands.

In another first, the upper half of the man's face, including the scalp, forehead, nose, ears and upper and lower eyelids, were transplanted.

Previous facial transplants have attached the lower part of the face.

The man also received a new set of hands, attached above the wrist, the authorities said. The surgery succeeded in reconnecting all the relevant nerves, tendons, arteries and veins.

The parts were harvested from a brain-dead donor with his family's consent.

The transplant patient had been on the waiting list for a year, the authority said.

A French woman, Isabelle Dinoire, underwent the first partial face transplant in 2005 in Amiens.

Other recipients include another European patient, a Chinese farmer and a woman operated on late last year in Cleveland, Ohio.


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