The 33-year-old man said he owes his doctor "everything" following a 27-hour skin-and-bone transplant on May 15, three weeks after losing his nose, upper jaw and cheeks in an accident at the brick factory where he worked.
Read more: Details emerge about Poland's first face transplant
They said it was the first time a life-saving face transplant was carried out soon after a recipient suffered damage. There have been several other transplants in recent years but in those cases doctors had months or years to prepare. But, once the patient rejected a reattachment of his own face, doctors felt they had no other options. The Polish patient suffered his accident on April 23, 2013.
The surgery reconstructed the area around the eyes, nose, jaw and palate and other facial areas, with the transplant running from above his right eye, under his left eye and around his face to his neck.
The donor, a 34-year-old man, was chosen from a national registry of potential donors after his age, gender, blood group and body features were determined to be a good match for the injured man.
He can breathe on his own, see, eat, taste and speak, although his speech is hard to understand because the face muscles still need to regain mobility.
He will be able to resume work, though he will have to avoid working in agriculture, where he could catch a fungal infection from the soil. His potted plants, rugs and his dog had to be removed from his home prior to his return due to infection risk.
"My speech isn't clear, but it's really important that it is there," he said. "I know it's still a long way." His words were transcribed in a broadcast by TVN24 after the press conference.
More than two dozen transplants of the face or parts of the face have been performed around the world. The first one was a partial face transplant on a woman maimed by her dog in France in 2005.