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Last Updated: Monday, 17 April 2006, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Chinese face op man 'doing well'
A Chinese man who is said to have received the country's first face transplant is "progressing well" following surgery, state media reports.

Li Guoxing, 30, underwent the 14-hour operation in Xijing hospital, central China, on Thursday and Friday to repair damage caused by a bear attack.

Doctors said he was given a new upper lip, cheek and nose.

Last year a French woman, Isabelle Dinoire, became the first person in the world to receive a face transplant.

Mr Li had now completely regained consciousness, doctors at Xijing hospital, in the city of Xian, said.

He was able to take some liquid food, but would be kept in isolation for two weeks, they added.

""The first 24 hours after surgery are the most dangerous period, for the microsurgery may cause blood-vessel damage," Zhang Hui, the doctor in charge of the post-surgery treatment, told the China Daily newspaper.

First look

The doctors said Mr Li had been allowed to have a first look at his new face on Saturday, but was forbidden from making any movement that might prevent the wounds from healing.

Instead, he squeezed his doctor's hand to acknowledge the surgery's success, the China Daily reported.

"The surgery scar will not be obvious but there is a difference in the donor's and recipient's skin colour, so that will be noticeable," Mr Zhang said.

Mr Li, a hunter from the Lisu ethnic minority in the south-western province of Yunnan, was badly disfigured after being attacked by a bear two years ago.

He is reported to have been given two-thirds of a brain-dead man's face during the complex transplant operation.

Last November, Mrs Dinoire, from Amiens in France, was given a new nose, lips and chin after being mauled by her pet Labrador while she slept. Braving the media glare for the first time in February, she said the surgery had given her the courage to face the future.

'First face transplant' for China
14 Apr 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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