The next one-year might see the announcement of world's first full face transplant, said the leader of the UK Facial Transplantation Research Team.
It was after the first facial transplant operation was carried out in the United States that Professor Peter Butler predicted full face transplant surgery within a year in UK.
AdvertisementIn the US surgery, Dr Maria Siemionow, reconstructive surgeon at The Cleveland Clinic, in Milwaukee, replaced 80 percent of a woman's face with that of a female donor.
"We congratulate Dr Siemionow and her Cleveland transplantation team and wish the brave patient well for the future," The Daily Express quoted Professor Butler as saying.
When asked when the UK team would perform the world's first full facial transplant, Butler said: "We hope to make an announcement about this within the next 12 months."
The team, which is based at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, has been granted ethical permission for a research programme of four facial transplants.
The first partial face transplant in the world was carried out in France three years ago on a woman who had been mauled by her dog.
It was followed by two other surgeries-a Chinese farmer attacked by a bear and a European man disfigured by a genetic condition.
However, such transplants are often surrounded by controversy because they are aimed at improving a patient's quality of life rather than saving it, and require recipients to take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of their life.
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