POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 9:04pm
Virginia (NBC) — A Virginia man has a new face after being in surgery for a day and a half.
Thirty-seven year old Richard Norris was severely injured in a gun accident fifteen ago.
Surgeons at the university of Maryland medical center gave Richard a new face, upper and lower jaw bones, teeth and a portion of the tongue.
The surgery was the most comprehensive face transplant to date.
Doctors say the surgery has had a significant impact on Richard’s life, and so far, he is recovering well.
"This is an individual who really has not lived for the last 15 years as you and I know it, living behind a mask, living as a recluse, doing his shopping at night," said transplant surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez. “He is moving his jaws, opening and closing his mouth, he is on a clear liquid diet, he can move his tongue, open and close his eyes. He is beginning to feel his face. He's actually looking in the mirror shaving and brushing his teeth, which we never even expected."
Richard will need minor surgery in the future , but they should be outpatient procedures.