First face transplant performed in Belgium

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At a news conference in Ghent on Saturday it was a clearly proud team that met the press. Professor Philip Blondeel led the operation:”An enormous team was involved in the project that covered 29 different medical fields. In all 65 people were directly involved in the operation.”

The hospital says that the patient will still need an awful lot of post-operative care but that the operation itself was a success. Already six days after the operation the man was able to talk and drink water. That’s a lot earlier than expected.

Photos of the patient and the donor will not be released out of respect for both parties. Prof. Blondeel told VRT News that it is important to safeguard the interests of donor and beneficiary alike.

The first face transplant was carried out in France six years ago. The Ghent operation was only the 19th operation of its kind in the world.