Surgeons in Italy have carried out the world’s first ever whole jaw transplant.
In an 11-hour operation at Rome’s Regina Elena Hospital, an 80-year-old man suffering from a cancerous tumour of the mouth received the new bone from a donor half his age.

Membrane was taken from the patient’s own arm to envelope the new jaw bone and to substitute the gums of the mouth.

There are as many as 3,000 cases of cancer of the mouth in Italy each year – the majority of which are caused by smoking – and in 15% of cases the tumour is too diffuse to be removed by traditional invasive surgery.