CLEVELAND, April 24 (UPI) -- The doctor in charge of the first face transplant in the United States says he does not believe a "full face transplant" will ever be done.
Dr. Maria Siemionow told ABC News the Spanish surgical team that performed a "full face transplant" in the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona appears to have made advances over previous surgeries, including transplanting teeth and a lower jaw. But she disputed the terminology used in an announcement Thursday of the operation last month.
"For someone to have no face at all -- they would not survive to start with," Siemionow said.
The first face transplant was done in France on a woman who had been mauled by a pet dog. Siemionow was in charge at the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 when a woman -- maimed when her husband shot her in the face - received a transplant.
Siemionow said about 10 similar surgeries have been done worldwide.