Doctors in Poland perform face transplant just weeks after man's face is torn off

WARSAW (AP) - Doctors in Poland say they have performed an urgent total face transplant on a 33-year-old man whose face was torn off in an accident that also crushed his jaws.

Doctors at the Oncology Centre in Gliwice said the 27-hour operation was performed on May 15, just weeks after the accident.

The head of the team of doctors, Dr Adam Maciejewski, said it was the world's first life-saving face transplant carried out so soon after the damage. Previous transplants took months or years to prepare.

The surgery reconstructed the face, jaws, palate and bottom of the man's eye sockets.

A picture of the patient taken on Tuesday, six days after the surgery, showed him making a thumbs-up gesture from his hospital bed.