Warning: article contains images of a medical nature.
A woman whose face was disfigured by benign tumours looks unrecognisable after undergoing a face transplant.
The woman, known only as Joanna, appeared at a recent press conference to reveal her new face two years after the life-changing surgery took place.
Joanna suffers from neurofibromatosis, which caused tumours to grow on her face and resulted in severe disfigurement. As a result, she was unable to eat properly.
Now, years after her face transplant surgery, Joanna looks completely different. In fact, the only tell-tale signs of her operation are scars across her forehead and neck.
Neurofibromatosis is the name for a number of genetic conditions that cause tumours to grow along the nerves, according to the Neuro Foundation.
The condition varies from one person to another even in the same family.
Some people will be mildly affected with very few health problems, while others will experience serious health problems that may make daily life difficult.
There’s currently no cure for the illness and, as such, Joanna’s only option was to have surgery on her face.
The operation was carried out by Dr Adam Maciejewski back in February 2014.
He spent 23 hours painstakingly transplanting 80% of the skin on her face, so she could talk and eat again.
Joanna’s was the second face transplant to take place in her home country of Poland.
According to a genetics expert, she is unlikely to develop any more facial tumours, as the skin on her face comes from a person with a different genetic make-up.
At a press conference shortly after her operation in 2014, Joanna thanked doctors and the family of the donor, and added: “I have nice eyebrows now.”