University of Maryland doctors perform full face transplant

The University of Maryland said Tuesday that it had completed a rare full face transplant on a 37-year-old man, including a double jaw and tongue.

The 36-hour surgery was performed at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center by a team of doctors from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Officials did not release the name of the patient or donor but plan to offer more information on the procedure next week.

Across the city, John Hopkins Hospital has also put together a team of surgeons that could do a face transplant. The team is in the process of getting approval from its institutional review board for their protocol.

The first full face transplant in the United States was performed last year in Boston on a construction worker whose facial features were burned when his head touched a power line. The military paid for the operation in hopes of treating wounded service members with one operation rather than many.

The first face transplant was performed in France in 2005.

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