Mexico's IMSS health service successfully performed the country's first face implant on a 7-year-old boy who was bitten by a dog here in this northern metropolis, doctors said Tuesday.

"The child, Raul Carrizales Jaramillo, was gnawed by a dog that practically tore off both lips and 60 percent of his left cheek," Dr. Juan Carlos Tamez Montes, director of the IMSS hospital in Monterrey where the surgery was performed June 26, told Efe.

The night watchman who saw the dog attack picked up the boy's torn pieces of flesh, wrapped them in gauze and kept them in a plastic bag that he covered with ice, which allowed the doctors to do the reimplant, Tamez said.

Taking part in the surgery, which took close to six hours, were seven doctors and nurses, who were able to reconnect the arteries and veins.

The director of the clinic said that the youngster is in a process of recovery that will allow him to regain movement and feeling in his restored lips and cheek.

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