London gets OK for the first FULL face swap
The world's first full face transplant is to be carried out in London.
A team at the Royal Free in Hampstead, headed by surgeon Peter Butler, has been given approval by an ethics committee to carry out the historic operation.
It will involve three surgical teams working over at least 15 hours and could take place within months.
Mr Butler intends to remove the whole face from a brain-dead donor and transplant it on to a severely disfigured patient. The procedure is much more complicated than the partial transplant carried out on a woman in France last November.
Isabelle Dinoir, who had the world's first partial face transplant.-->
Some experts oppose the operation because the aim is not to save the patient as with most transplants, but to improve their quality of life.
Others are concerned the recipient would look like the donor and could be recognised by the bereaved family.
Four people will be operated on in a clinical trial initially. The team have seen 34 patients but have yet to select the first one for the transplant. Read more