Woman disfigured by facial tumor receives full face transplant
Joanna, 26, struggled to chew, swallow or talk before the operation; it took 23 hours and involved replacing 80 percent of the skin on her face
POLAND — A 26-year-old Polish woman disfigured by a huge tumour has received a new face.
The woman, identified only as Joanna, was given the new face during the country's second face transplant. Prior to the operation, she struggled to chew, swallow or talk. Dr. Adam Maciejewski, who led the 23-hour surgery last week, said he hopes the transplant of 80 percent of the skin on her face will give her back those functions.
Joanna was severely deformed by neurofibromatosis — a genetic condition that causes benign tumours to grow along the nerves. The condition can also cause bone problems, pressure on the spinal nerves, severe pain, learning disabilities and vision and hearing problems. There is no cure for it.