Facial transplantation once spawned science fiction-fed visions of cosmetic surgery run amok but is becoming more common as many fears about the operation prove unfounded.
There have been at least 17 facial transplants worldwide since the first was performed in 2005 for Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire, experts say. Three transplants have been done this year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the most recent one in May for Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009. The hospital’s efforts are being supported by a $3.4 million Defense Dept. grant, with hopes that wounded veterans will benefit.
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