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Maryland doctors plan to detail face transplant surgery

University of Maryland doctors plan Tuesday to detail their complicated 36-hour operation to give a 37-year-old man a new face.

Maryland says the face transplant, which occurred March 19-20 at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, was the most extensive face transplant done. The man received a face, including upper and lower jawbones, teeth, a port of tongue and soft tissue from the hairline to the neck.

The recipient has not been named. The donor also contributed organs anonymously to five others.

Surgeons in the United States have been performing face transplants since 2009, but the first full face transplant in this country was given to a Texas man last year at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. It was paid for by the military, which is interested in surgery that could improve the lives of service members.

The other hospital in Baltimore that offers transplants, Johns Hopkins, has not performed a face transplant but has formed a team. The surgeons are now obtaining approval from the university’s institutional review board for their protocol.

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