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Polish surgeons complete life-saving face transplant

A 33-year-old stone mason who suffered a workplace accident has received the life-saving transplant.

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Polish surgeons have pulled off the first life-saving face transplant on an injured stone mason. (Christopher Furlong/AFP/Getty Images)

Polish doctors have pulled off a revolutionary face transplant this week.

A 33-year-old who suffered a workplace accident received the life-saving transplant.

"It is Poland's first face transplant and also the first in the world done to save the patient's life," Anna Uryga, spokeswoman for the Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice, told AFP.

The man worked as a stone mason and the machine that was used to cut stone sliced deeply into his face.

The incident happened in late April.

Miraculously, the family of a deceased man in his 30s agreed to give the injured man his face.

The deceased also donated his heart and liver to others.

Though the injured man remains in serious condition, he is expected to recover within eight months.

Polish media published a photo of the man six days after the surgery giving a thumbs up.

Face transplants are exceptionally complicated and rare.

The first ever transplant was carried out in France in 2005 on a woman who had been attacked by a dog.

Twenty other face transplants have taken place since but this was the first to save the life of the patient.