Man Meets the Press After Full-Face Transplant

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Oscar, right, a man who underwent a full-face transplant poses with the Spanish Dr. Joan Barret. (AP Photo/David Ramos)

A Spanish man spoke at a press conference on Monday after being the first successful recipient of a full-face transplant.

Identifying himself only as Oscar, the 31-year-old farmer used the opportunity to thank the medical team who operated on him. Oscar seriously injured himself five years ago when he accidently shot himself in the face and since then he’s had difficulty eating, breathing and speaking.

The transplant, which took place in March with a 24-hour surgery, meant that a new face, including jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth and eyelids, was placed “masklike” over Oscar’s.

While the head of the surgical team told the press that Oscar would likely need physical therapy for up to a year and a half, he’s expected to regain almost all of his facial functions. Possibly signifying the operation’s success is the fact that just a week after the operation he had already started growing facial hair.

See a list of TIME’s top 10 unusual medical treatments.

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