Man Has New Skull Transplanted On

By Gary Cutlack on at

A 15-hour medical procedure involving around 50 hospital staff has rebuilt several large chunks of the body of James Boysen, after brutal radiation therapy treatment for cancer ravaged his skull and internal organs.

Boysen was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in 2006, a rare condition otherwise known as cancer of the muscle on the scalp. Surgeons at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Hospital carried out what they claim was the world's first skull and scalp transplant to fix the huge wound the treatment left on the top of his head, giving Boysen the top part of the skull and hairline of another man.

He seems particularly happy with the appearance of his new scalp despite the slightly Frankenstein's monster-like stitching he's now sporting around the top of his head, saying: "It’s kind of shocking, really, how good they got it. I will have way more hair than when I was 21."

And, for good measure, doctors also threw in a new kidney and pancreas for Boysen, seeing as a pair of previously transplanted organs were failing, with all three transplants carried out at the same time. The skull, scalp, kidney and pancreas all came from the same donor, to minimise the chances of rejection. [Guardian]