Maruice D, of Gatineau Quebec, several months now after the incredible operation to rebuild and replace most of his face. CBC-Radio-Canada)

Medical marvel: first face transplant in Canada


A man who suffered a serious accident while hunting was living with what was left of a badly disfigured face. A bullet had blown away much of his face in 2011.

Several rebuilding surgeries over the years had helped but left him breathing through a hole in his windpipe, a mouth that couldn’t close, and years of constant pain.

Then Maurice D. of Gatineau consulted wth Dr Daniel Borsuk in Montreal, who at age 40 was a young but already renowned plastic surgeon.

A bold plan was discussed, something done barely a few times ever in the world, that of a face transplant.

Maurice D. severely injured in a 2011 hunting accident, had undergone several surgeries to repair the damage, but which still left him disfigured and breathing through a hole in his windpipe. (Jérôme Voyer-Poirier/Radio-Canada)

Operation in May, success revealed now

Dr Borsuk explained the severe risks, that Desjardins could die on the operating table, that he cold die from the body’s rejection of the face, or from cancer as a result of anti-rejection drugs he would have to take for the rest of his life.

Desjardins response was to go ahead, saying “what kind of life do I have now?”

Four years in the planning, a donor was found, That too is a challenge, as the donor must be brain dead, but the heart still working in order keep facial tissue, and muscle alive.  Once removed, the tissues have only a couple of hours before they must begin receiving blood again, or be lost.

Leading a medical team of 9 surgeons, 15 specialists, and dozens of other medical staff in an operation that lasted 30 hours,  the complete face of the donor, and what remained of the patient’s face, were removed and the new “face” was placed on the patient, where blood vessels, skin, nerves, bones, cartilage and teeth were attached to the patient.

Post surgery and after some healing, Maurice gets a look at the “stranger’s face” that is now his. (CBC Radio-Canada)

Although the transplant took place in March, it is only now being made public as the extremely complex, rare, and risky operation has been deemed a success.

Another issue is a psychological one as Desjardins has to get used to seeing a new face in the mirror that he cannot recognize as being him.

Additional information- sources

Categories: Health, Internet, Science and Technology
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.