A 37-year-old man says he's no longer a recluse seven months after receiving the world's most extensive full face transplant.
A gun accident in 1997 left Richard Lee Norris, 37, without lips, a jaw or a nose.
The Virginia man said the replacement of his jaws, teeth, tongue and skin seven months ago had changed his life.
"For the past 15 years I lived as a recluse hiding behind a surgical mask and doing most of my shopping at night when less people were around," Mr Norris said.
"I can now go out and not get the stares and have to hear comments that people would make."
He now enjoys a normal life of fishing, playing golf and spending time with his family and friends.
Professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Eduardo Rodriguez, led the transplant surgery and said Mr Norris was "exceeding expectations".
"He's one of the most courageous and committed individuals I know," Dr Rodriguez said.
The University of Maryland facial transplantation program now hopes to help more patients, including soldiers and veterans wounded in action.