WEB DESK: Surgeons in the US say they have carried out the world’s most expensive surgery which includes a face transplant– including the scalp, ears and eyelids.
Patrick Hardison, a 41-year-old fire fighter was given a new face after it got burnt in an accident, in a surgery which went on for 26 hours.
The operation took place in August.
Hardison, was injured in a house fire as he attempted to rescue a woman he believed was trapped in the blaze. He had third degree burns of his entire face and scalp.
He waited more than a year on a donor register for a perfect match – not only blood type but someone with fair skin and light hair.
His donor became 26-year-old David Rodebaugh. He was injured in a cycling incident, and on his death bed he agreed to donate his organs to injured Patrick.
The surgery cost over a million dollars.
Three months on Hardison, a father of five, is healing, although he will need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life to stop his body’s immune system from fighting the transplant.
Dr Rodriguez, his plastic surgeon estimates that no more than five of the other patients who have received facial transplants around the world died after the new tissue was rejected.
He told a press conference: “The amount of tissue transplanted in Patrick has not been done before.
“He is doing very well today for only day 93 [post-op].”
The procedure has restored his eyelids and blinking mechanism and he now has a full head of hair, as well as eyebrows, stubble and ears.