norris_face_transplantDr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez and his team of surgeons at the University of Maryland School of Medicine deserve praise for their success in “the most extensive face transplant performed to date.”

Seven months after receiving a new face, Richard Lee Norris, a 37-year-old Virginia resident who for fifteen years was disfigured from a firearm accident, reports that he is regaining his ability to speak, smile, and eat by mouth.

Facial transplant surgery is one of the frontiers in transplant medicine and it faces unique challenges, requiring the surgeon, in the words of Dr. Rodriguez, “to restore facial harmony and functional balance in the most aesthetic manner possible through the complex transplantation of the facial bones, nerves, muscles, tongue, teeth and the associated soft tissues.”

Congratulations are certainly in order for the scientific genius and hard work that went into this great medical achievement.

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Image: University of Maryland School of Medicine

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