July 28, 2003

"It looks like it's his own tongue"

The Austrian recipient of a tongue transplant is said to be doing well:

"The tongue now has a completely normal color. When you look inside his mouth, it looks like it's his own tongue. The transplant has blood flowing to it, but there is a risk of rejection with every transplant operation," Ewers said.

He said that if the patient's body accepts the tongue and it heals properly, the man should be able to speak and swallow, but most likely he will not have a sense of taste.

Posted by Mark Liberman at July 28, 2003 10:10 AM