Boston hospital approves face transplants

July 29, 2007 at 11:05 PM
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BOSTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has granted a small surgical team permission to perform partial face transplants, The Boston Globe said Sunday.

The move makes Brigham and Women's the second hospital in the United States to give permission to perform the controversial procedure.

The world's first face transplant was done a year and a half ago on a woman in France who had been mauled by her dog. Since then, the procedure has been fiercely debated because patients who undergo the surgery must take powerful drugs that were once reserved for patients with life-threatening conditions, the Globe reported.

Those who argue against face transplants say if the body rejects the tissue, another operation to remove the tissue could leave the patient more scarred than before. However, the Globe reported, some doctors argue that face transplants can dramatically transform the lives of people who are disfigured to the point where they do not work or go out.

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