MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. A serviceman who suffered electrical burns three years ago has successfully undergone a face transplant operation in Russia's first such procedure, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Friday.
Eighteen hours of surgery took place at St. Petersburg's military medical academy in May this year, making Russia the eighth country to undertake a venture of this kind.
"This is the 32nd operation in the world to transplant face tissues for a person who has suffered disfiguring injuries," the minister said, adding that surgery success was announced only now as medical professionals had to see how the patient’s recovery would proceed.
"Today we can state that the operation was successful," Skvortsova said. The unidentified patient has thanked the surgeons, saying the operation would allow him to continue studying and working. "Due to the operation, I can now walks outdoors, communicate with other people and feel comfortable," he said.
The Defense Ministry has promised to solve the patient’s housing problems and keep monitoring his health in the future.
Face transplant surgery was first conducted in France in 2005 on a woman mauled by her dog.