Boston's Medical Milestone

As ABC's poignant documentary series Boston Med (Thursday, 10/9c, ABC) has unfurled, we've witnessed the treatment of a wounded police officer, an infant heart procedure and a risky brain surgery. While all were undeniably remarkable, none are as mesmerizing as the case that makes up tonight's finale - a partial face transplant.

Only the second such procedure attempted in the United States, the April 2009 operation lasted 17 hours and was overseen by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a facial reconstruction expert at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "It started at midnight and ran throughout the night. I took two 15-minute breaks to go to the bathroom, but I was hands-on the whole time," recalls Dr. Pomahac, who says he practiced for the marathon transplant on cadavers. "The tricky part is that you have to be confident that what you've been preparing for will really work. It's always a little different when you do dry runs and then the real thing. But fortunately, things worked out very, very well."

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