The nation's first near-total face transplant has been performed at a hospital in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Clinic says its surgeons replaced 80% of a woman patient's face with that of a dead female donor. The operation was performed a couple of weeks ago.
The patient's name, age and medical circumstances were not released. The hospital plans a news conference tomorrow, and won't give details until then.
The world's first partial face transplant happened in France three years ago on a woman who had been mauled by her dog. Two others have been announced since then — involving a Chinese farmer attacked by a bear and a European man disfigured by a genetic condition.
Such transplants are controversial, because they're aimed at improving a patient's quality of life rather than saving a life. The operations also involve serious risks of transplant rejection, which can be life-threatening.