When the tissue turned pink, the surgeons knew they had succeeded.  This was one very long procedure and was done in teams, starting at 5:00 imageam and all blood had to match of course.  In the related reading there are a couple other post with pictures of previous transplants done outside the US.

80% of the face came from the donor, and this has to be a success as one could not eat or drink should something not work.  Other parts of her body could be used for a skin transplant if needed, but it would not of course look anywhere near the same.  BD 

Siemionow, director of plastic surgery research at the hospital, worked with a dozen specialists to rebuild the face of a woman who was missing her right eye, nose and upper jaw. The deformities left her unable to speak, smell and taste properly. The team transplanted 80 percent of the donor's face, painstakingly hooking up arteries, blood vessels, nerves, muscle and bone; the recipient still has her own chin, forehead, upper eyelids and lower lip.

Face Transplant a First for U.S.: Scientific American

Related Reading:

Two More Face Transplants Show Promising Results - in Surgery

World's First Full Face Transplant Hailed


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