WARSAW, Poland (May 22, 2013)--Doctors in Poland have performed an urgent total face transplant on a 33-year-old man whose face was torn off in an accident, which also crushed his jaws.
The 27-hour operation was performed May 15, just weeks after the accident, doctors at the Oncology Center in Gliwice said
The head of the team of doctors says it was the world's first life-saving face transplant carried out so soon after the damage.
Previous transplants took months or years of preparation.
During the surgery doctors reconstructed the face, jaws, palate and the bottom of the man's eye sockets.
Six days after the surgery, the man was photographed making a thumbs-up gesture from his hospital bed.