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Surgery

Surgeons Perform First Tongue Transplant

14 years, 11 months ago

779  0
Posted on Aug 02, 2003, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Austrian researchers have carried out the world's first tongue transplant. Dr Rolf Ewers and colleagues at Vienna's University Hospital of Cranio-Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery carried out the transplant on a 42-year-old man who had a malignant tumor on his tongue. The man was operated on by two teams of surgeons, one team cut out the man's tongue while removing all traces of the tumor at the same time, then the second team attached the new tongue.

Austrian researchers have carried out the world's first tongue transplant. Dr Rolf Ewers and colleagues at Vienna's University Hospital of Cranio-Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery carried out the transplant on a 42-year-old man who had a malignant tumor on his tongue. The man was operated on by two teams of surgeons, one team cut out the man's tongue while removing all traces of the tumor at the same time, then the second team attached the new tongue. Altogether, the procedure took 14-hours. Doctors are pleased with their patients' progress and have reported that the tongue is not swollen, which is a positive sign. However, they stress that there is still a chance that the tongue may be rejected. If the body does accept the tongue and it heals properly, the team believe that the man should be able to speak and swallow normally but they do not expect him to have a sense of taste.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 22nd July 2003.

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