Woman Who Was Disfigured By Chimp Undergoes 20-Hour Surgery

Written by Keith Roberts on Aug. 13, 2011

The woman whose face was mauled by a chimp in 2009 successfully underwent a full face transplant that in July, according to NBC’s Today. The Connecticut woman, named Charla Nash, had her disfigured face hidden under a veil for nearly two years after the incident.

“We have been able to provide something that will eventually turn into a very functional face,” Dr. Bodhan Pomahac, who led the plastic and orthopedic surgery team, said.

Nash was attacked by a chimpanzee nearly two years ago in Stamford, Connecticut by a friend’s 200-pound pet. Her eyelids, nose, lips, and hands were ripped off during the incident and the chimpanzee, named Travis, was shot and killed by police shortly after.

“My journey to recovery continued at Brigham and Women’s Hospital… Here the medical team, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, prepared me for a face transplant and a double hand transplant. My surgery was successfully completed a few months ago,” Nash said in a statement after being released from the hospital.

PHOTOS: The dramatic before and after photos of Charla Nash — graphic

More than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents worked on Nash for more than 20 hours to fully replace her face, including her nose, lips, facial skin, muscles of facial animation and the nerves that will be able to give Nash the sense of smell again.

During the nearly two years, Nash had to rely on breathing tubes to eat. She was also blinded during the gruesome attack.

“She will eventually be able to eat a hamburger, which she said was very important to her having eaten only pureed food since her injury,” Pomahac said following the surgery.

  • Anonymous


  • The article is misleading. The photograph above is the woman BEFORE her injuries.

  • Orman

    Should not the caption read “Chimp Attackee”

  • LynnFL

    This is a poorly written report and should never have posted as #1 in Google.

    There is no post-transplant photo; check one of the other web reports to view her new face. This report offers only 2 before and 2 post injury photos. The surgery was performed in May and the woman continues to recover in a rehabilitation facility.

    Her double hand transplant was unsuccessful and both had to be removed.