Spain has performed the world's first full-face transplant in a 24-hour operation carried out by more than 30 medics.
The patient, a young farmer, had been left unable to breathe, swallow or talk properly after accidentally shooting himself in the face five years ago.
He received new facial muscles, skin, nose, lips, jaw, teeth, palate and cheekbones in the surgery on March 20 at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron University Hospital.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, had been dependent on artificial equipment to breathe and eat since 2005.
According to the hospital, he had been operated on nine times previously without success and was therefore considered for the complete facial transplant.
"The operation was carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Dr Joan Pere Barret," the hospital said in a statement.
Dr Joan Pere Barret on the full-face transplant recipient's recovery
He has seen himself when he told us he wanted to and psychologists said he was ready. It was a week after the operation and he reacted well, he was calm and satisfied.
The surgery incorporated "plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques", it added.
"This is the first full face transplant performed worldwide, as the 10 operations performed previously had been only partial."
In the first part of the operation, the soft parts of the donor's face, including veins and arteries, were extracted before firmer tissue was removed.
The young man's arteries and veins were then isolated and the donor's face checked to ensure there was a complete flow of blood.
A computer-generated sequence of part of the operation
The final part of the surgery involved transplanting bones and connecting nerves to the new face.
The recipient is thought to be recovering well and apparently has already seen his new face.
Dr Barret said: "The patient has scars on his forehead and his neck but they will become invisible in the future.
"He has seen himself when he told us he wanted to and psychologists said he was ready.
"It was a week after the operation and he reacted well, he was calm and satisfied."
British experts have welcomed the news.
Professor Peter Butler, head of the UK's Facial Transplantation Research Team, has been ready to perform a full face transplant for several months.
Isabelle Dinoire received the first successful partial face transplant in 2006
His team is understood to still be looking for donors that provide an exact match for several British patients.
Prof Butler said: "We congratulate Dr Barret and his transplantation team in Spain on what may well be the most complex facial transplantation operation carried out so far worldwide."
The first successful face transplant was performed in France in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog.
Since then, face transplants have been carried out in China, the US and Spain, which carried out its first such operation in August 2009.