SEARCH

Entries in Dallas Wiens (2)

Monday
Jan162012

Dallas Wiens Smiling 10 Months After Full Face Transplant

Adam Hunger/AFP/Getty Images(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Ten months after receiving the first full face transplant in the United States, 25-year-old Dallas Wiens of Fort Worth, Texas, said he can smile.

Wiens suffered life-threatening burns to his head when the boom lift he was operating drifted into a nearby power line in 2008. The horrific accident and 22 surgeries that followed left Wiens with a face void of features short of a lipless mouth and a small goatee.

But in March, a team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston worked for more than 17 hours to give him a new face, complete with skin and the muscles and nerves needed to animate it.

"The ability to smile and to show emotion on my face, even unintentionally, is such a natural thing," Wiens told the Dallas Morning News. "Having a new face has changed me dramatically."

Since 2005, 18 patients have received facial transplants, most of them to restore partial face defects. Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of plastic surgery and transplantation at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, has now performed three face transplants, including Wiens'. The latest recipient was Charla Nash, whose face was horribly mauled by her friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009.

"I think it's important for people to realize this is becoming a reproducible technique," said Pomahac, who detailed the transplants in a December report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "The extent of how it will be used is undetermined, but it's here to stay."

For Wiens, who after a two-month recovery reunited with his young daughter Scarlette on "Good Morning America" in May, the transplant was a second chance at a normal life.

"I don't look much different than anybody else," he told the Dallas Morning News.

Although he's happy with his new face, Wiens said it doesn't define who he is.

"This new face, it's not who I am. The old face wasn't either," he said. "Who you are is inside -- it's internalized. It's who you show the world."

Wiens' positive outlook has been a driving force behind his remarkable recovery, according to his doctors and his family.

"You have to choose to get bitter or get better," he said. "And I chose to get better."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar212011

Texas Man Receives Full Face Transplant

Lightchaser Photography/ Donald Annino Jr., MD, DMD, of BWH Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.(BOSTON) -- A 25-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas, has received the most complete face transplant in the United States to date.

Dallas Wiens, a construction worker, suffered severe burns to his head two and a half years ago when the boom lift he was operating drifted into a nearby power line. The nearly fatal accident left him in a coma for three months.

After 22 surgeries, Wiens was left with a face void of features, except for a lipless mouth and a goatee. Even his eye sockets were smoothed over with skin taken from other parts of his body.

But last week, a team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston worked for more than 15 hours to give Wiens a new face -- complete with skin and the muscles and nerves needed to animate it.

Wiens is the second person to have a face transplant at Brigham and Woman's Hospital. James Maki received a partial transplant in 2005, after accidentally falling face first onto an electrified subway rail.

Wiens said he didn't have the procedure because of how he might look after. Rather, he did it so he might feel a kiss from his 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett.

"I can't feel her kisses, and I can't truly kiss her back," he told ABC News affiliate WFAA before the procedure.

Doctors said Wiens may regain up to 90 percent of the sensation in his forehead, right cheek and lips.

Wiens's transplant, which involved a whole face and the bony tissue of the nose, is the most complete face transplant in the U.S. to date, according to Brigham and Woman's Hospital.

Spanish doctors said they performed the world's first "full" face transplant last April, one involving the nose, lips, palate, teeth, cheekbones and jaw.

The Department of Defense contributed $3.4 million to Brigham and Woman's Hospital and covered Wiens's procedure. Wiens joined the Army but had to take a medical discharge because of knee problems, according to WFAA.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio