Before 2005, surgeries to improve facial disfigurement relied on skin grafts from patients or cadavers. Now face transplants are becoming more common that can include not only the skin, but jaw bones and teeth.
On March 19, Richard Lee Norris, 37, became the world's 23rd facial transplant recipient. A gun accident in 1997 left Norris lipless and noseless. After 36 hours of surgery, he received a face from the hair line to the neck plus upper and lower jaws. A week into his recovery, Norris started to shave and brush his teeth.
Transplant recipients face the risk of immune rejection and must remain on immune-system suppressing drugs for the rest of their lives. The surgery is able to help people disfigured by accidents, diseases or attacks regain some of their old self, according to reports. Here are some before and after pictures of people who have received either full or partial face transplants.