face 568 rafael

‘Rafael’ happy with face transplant progress.

A 34-year-old Spanish face transplant patient yesterday appeared before the press with his new face, saying he was ‘happy’ and thanking his donor and medical team.

The man, whose name was given as Rafael, underwent a 30-hour operation on January 25 and 26 at Seville’s Virgen del Rocio hospital. More than 100 medical professionals participated directly or indirectly in the operation.

The operation was ‘very complex’ because it involved transplanting large amounts of facial tissue, doctor Tomas Gomez Cia said.
Rafael received the transplant because he suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder which made tumours grow on his face.

Rafael can now feel cold and warm temperatures on his face and has started shaving, though he still has difficulty talking.