October 17, 2012

Best face transplant ever.

Look at the pictures of Richard Lee Norris before and after his horrible gunshot injury and then 7 months after he got a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw. Incredibly, this 37-year-old man looks better than he did before the accident. I'd like to see a picture of the donor. Did he look like Jean-Paul Belmondo?

34 comments:

Russ said...


In the photo, at least, it looks like a stunning reconstruction.

I'd like to see video and updates on him in a few years, plus the same for previous facial transplant recipients.

bagoh20 said...

All four progressive photos look like completely different people. The skin looks incredibly good, like the blood flow is normal.

What a terrible thing to endure. I've had major surgery, but I can' imagine it being on my face. The discomfort, the shame, the difficulties, the inability to communicate. It just sounds horrible. I'm glad he's through it.

Darrell said...

I'm glad he's through it.

Except for the lifetime of taking anti-rejection drugs.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Under the wire, before Obamacare rationing.

Après Barry, le déluge.

Ann Althouse said...

"On a strict cost-benefit analysis, I wonder if this surgery would make the (pardon the expression) cut?"

Take into account that each time they do it, they are learning things about HOW to do it.

They're clearly getting better, and it doesn't seem as though there are many opportunities to try out these techniques (fortunately).

Tim said...

That is truly amazing.

Pogo said...

"Take into account that each time they do it, they are learning things about HOW to do it."

Won't matter. Cut-offs will be by age and priority.

Priority will be determined by necessity and/or political pressure. New faces won't be on the grid.

"Learning HOW to do it" and making it cheaper/more efficient is a capitalist approach, where Obamacare is socialism.

Lem said...

The went for the Andrew Sullivan bloody elation look ;)

X said...

he looks good, but do you really think he looks better than his school photo?

Tim said...

Pogo said...

"Under the wire, before Obamacare rationing.

Après Barry, le déluge."


Yes, probably so.

From a strictly intellectual perspective, I am fascinated by the prospect we will end up severely restricting the flow of capital to medical innovation as a result of the PPACA.

I think the culture passed a tipping point some many years ago in which progress has become assumed, that the inputs to progress are irrelevant or, more critically, evergreen and just introduce themselves as necessary.

I attribute this to the idiot academic left, which in its haste to delegitimize Western Civilization and its accomplishments, has failed to acknowledge, let alone teach, the hard work and critical factors necessary for progress.

I think of the Heinlein quote, "Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man..."

bagoh20 said...

"Except for the lifetime of taking anti-rejection drugs."

I do. It's no big deal. One very tiny pill per day. Gotta be a little careful about getting too much sun (40X the normal cancer risk). I don't really do so good at that, but I'm dark complected so I have some natural protection. Some added risk from infection, which I also haven't experienced. I'm often a very dirty boy, and rarely get sick. Modern medicine is full of miracles and getting better every day. We got to keep the government out of it as much as possible. It will only degrade it.

Pogo said...

More to the point, under rationed care, the first surgery would become unlikely, instead permitting the suicide to succeed, by prescription rather than shotgun.

No mess.

X said...

From a strictly intellectual perspective, I am fascinated by the prospect we will end up severely restricting the flow of capital to medical innovation as a result of the PPACA.

if the greatest generation had decided to eat the medical seed corn like the bad part of the boomers are doing, health care now would cost very little and be worth it.

lemondog said...

GRAPHIC:
Here is another needed face-rebuilding.

Curious George said...

Obama: "Instead of getting the expensive surgery, maybe it's better that you take the .45 pill.

Tim said...

"if the greatest generation had decided to eat the medical seed corn like the bad part of the boomers are doing, health care now would cost very little and be worth it."

Yes, that's exactly right.

Curious George said...

I was going to ask if Martha Radditz decided to become a dude...

rhhardin said...

The word transplant is well enough established to avoid face transplant resonating with face plant.

MadisonMan said...

Miraculous Modern Medicine. Awesome!

Chip Ahoy said...

He has a tongue but it doesn't taste anything. He cannot control it, shape it to make specific sounds, place it on the tip of his teeth to make an S or curl it to make an R, he cannot speak. His tongue is in the way, he keeps biting it but not feeling what's happening, except for odd sensations of pain, like an iron being applied to his tongue in places, here and there, then it passes. He has teeth but no sensation of chewing, they're like dentures and he keeps biting his cheek so his cheeks are ragged inside, he has to learn to keep his mouth shut and stop idly chewing. He cannot use his facial muscles so he remains expressionless and drools. Eating is a problem because he cannot use the tongue to move the food back.

I just made that up. Sorry.

kcom said...

If I had no class I'd link to the best faceplant ever.

Bryan C said...

""Learning HOW to do it" and making it cheaper/more efficient is a capitalist approach, where Obamacare is socialism."

Indeed. Why do anything new if there's no possibility of profit, if you're actually penalized for creating a new device, if your potential patients are never actually allowed to benefit, and if it exposes you to more legal risk? That's exactly what has happened to the drug industry, and now it's happening to every other facet of medicine.

Only the government can take a huge market of enthusiastic customers and turn it into a rationed hell of perverse incentives, stagnant technology, and substandard skills.

sane_voter said...

Bagoh20, can you share what anti-rejection pill you take?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I wonder how long it takes before you can look in a mirror and feel, on an emotional level, that the person looking back at you is actually you.

I think that would take a serious psychological toll.

bagoh20 said...

"Bagoh20, can you share what anti-rejection pill you take?"

Sure. Rapamune (Sirolimus) 1mg./day. I switched to it because it has less side effects, only requires one dose per day, and also has anti-tumor effects. I used to take Tacrolimus, and didn't really have any side effects that I noticed.

sane_voter said...

Thanks, Bagoh20

Ann Althouse said...

""Learning HOW to do it" and making it cheaper/more efficient is a capitalist approach, where Obamacare is socialism."

In that view, it's preferable not to discover how to do anything that will be expensive. Palliative care for all... plus physician-assisted suicide.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In that view, it's preferable not to discover how to do anything that will be expensive. Palliative care for all... plus physician-assisted suicide.

That's the joy of socialism. Otherwise you run out of other people's money too quickly.

Pogo said...

Not quite. The productive will get pretty good care, up until the point that illness threatens to make them disabled. Then the plug is pulled.

After age 65, forget it. Thanks for your taxes, now go away.

Under age 15, 1 or 2 chances at tough diseases, then take the blue pill.

" it's preferable not to discover how to do anything that will be expensive."

That was the role for the US in the world, at least before. Doing most of the heavy lifting of new discoveries.

SJL said...

My niece had a kidney transplant at 10 years old, and 22 years later is in great health. She takes anti-rejection drugs every day.

EDH said...

With that under bite, he looks a little like a young Springsteen.

Zach said...

On a strict cost-benefit analysis, I wonder if this surgery would make the (pardon the expression) cut?

Don't discount quality of life issues. Here's a guy in his 20s or 30s who was horribly, life-alteringly disfigured. Now he gets 30 to 40 years of being slightly funny looking. He's going to find it easier to hold down a job, make friends, go out in public...

Put it another way -- how bad would an illness have to get before you would choose to look like Norris before the surgery rather than suffer it? Suddenly, gallstones don't seem so terrible.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder how long it takes before you can look in a mirror and feel, on an emotional level, that the person looking back at you is actually you.

Considering what had been looking back at him for the past -- decade? -- I'm not so sure what kind of toll this new look would bring, other than a feeling of blessed relief.