China's first facial transplant patient was discharged for a week after undergoing successful surgery, the state media reported Saturday.
Li Guoxing, 30, who had not seen his wife and two children since he was admitted to the entered Xijing Hospital returned home Friday for a week-long visit to his family in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The transplanted part of his face is alive and Li has been doing well, director of the hospital's plastic surgery department who directed the operation, Guo Shuzhong said.
Li, whose face was terribly disfigured in 2004 after being attacked by a bear, received a partial face transplant at the hospital in April, the second operation of its kind following a French female patient last year.
During the 14-hour procedure that ended on April 14, Li was given a new cheek, upper lip, nose and an eyebrow, all from a single donor. The swelling on the transplanted part has now almost disappeared, making his face seem more natural.
Looking cheerful, Li spoke to reporters in simple Chinese and thanked the hospital's doctors and nurses in standard Chinese, and said he was "very happy to go home".
His upper lip now has a small moustache and some acne has appeared on the right part of his face in the past few days.
Guo said all this showed that he was recovering well.
Given the poor living and medical conditions in his hometown, Li will return to the hospital after the seven-day visit, and further plastic surgery will be carried out in two or three weeks, to make the right part of his face, his lips and eyes seem more natural, the doctor said.
The Natural Conservancy, a leading US-based non-profit organisation, which studied the living conditions of black bears in Yunnan, helped Li apply for the surgery.