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Man recovering from 1st face transplant in US

A Texas construction worker was listed in good condition in a Boston hospital after undergoing the nation's first full face transplant after badly damaging his face in a 2008 power line accident.

March 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Texas construction worker was listed in good condition in a Boston hospital after undergoing the nation's first full face transplant.

Dallas Wiens' face was horribly disfigured in a power line accident November 2008.

During a 15-hour operation, a team of 30 doctors and nurses gave the 25-year-old a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an anonymous donor.

The transplant was not able to restore his sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged from his injury that he will probably have only partial sensation on his left cheek and left forehead, doctors said.

No details about the donor were disclosed. The hospital said the match was based on gender, race, age and blood type.

The surgery was paid for by the Defense Department, which gave the hospital a $3.4 million research grant for five transplants.

About a dozen face transplants have been done worldwide, in the U.S., France, Spain and China. This was the third in the U.S. and the second at the Boston hospital. The previous one was in April 2009 - the partial replacement of the face of a man who was injured in a freak accident. In 2008, Connie Culp became the nation's first partial face transplant recipient. She underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.