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Historic Larynx Transplant

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Uploaded on May 4, 2011

In one of the most complex transplant surgeries ever performed, an international team of surgeons at UC Davis Medical Center restored the voice of a California woman who had been unable to speak for more than a decade.

In January 2011, the surgical team announced that they replaced the larynx (voicebox), thyroid gland and trachea (windpipe) in a 52-year-old Modesto, California, woman who had lost her ability to speak and breathe on her own. The 18-hour operation, which took place over a two-day period in October 2010, is only the second documented case of its kind in the world. Just 13 days after the operation, the patient voiced her first words in 11 years and is now able to speak easily and at length.

This is the story of a remarkable operation and an extraordinary woman.

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