French face transplant convinced doubters

5th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, July 4, 2006 (AFP) - A British surgeon hoping to carry out the world's first full face transplant said the partial face transplant conducted in France last November had silenced doubters about the procedure.

LONDON, July 4, 2006 (AFP) - A British surgeon hoping to carry out the world's first full face transplant said the partial face transplant conducted in France last November had silenced doubters about the procedure.

Peter Butler, a face surgeon from the Royal Free Hospital in north London, declared himself "very impressed" by the results of the French team, which put a new nose, chin and lips on a woman who had been savaged by her dog.

Butler is awaiting ethical approval from his hospital to carry out full face transplants on some of the 30-odd candidates who have contacted him.

"I was very impressed the first time I saw what they had done," he told Britain's domestic Press Association news agency.

"What fascinates me is the number of surgeons in the UK who were very reluctant about it to begin with, but who have now changed their minds having seen the result for this patient.

"The French success has changed people's minds across the board."

The transplant has been acclaimed by a pillar of the medical establishment as a historic achievement, although major risks remain unresolved.

Controversy had swirled around the pioneering operation carried out by a team in Amiens, northern France, with critics suggesting it was fraught with surgical and psychological peril.

But, in a sign that the exploit has been accepted by the core of the medical community, Devauchelle provided a detailed account of the transplant procedure in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal The Lancet.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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