Man left faceless for 2 months undergoes second transplant after first deteriorates

“I feel very well in myself,” the 43-year-old transplant recipient told reporters last week as he continues his recovery from the surgery which was carried out on January 15 and 16

He received his newest face three months ago. In July 2010, he successfully underwent the world's first full face transplant, including tear ducts and eyelids, at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris.

He suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic mutation causing deeply disfiguring tumours.

The Frenchman who got the world's first full face transplant in 2010, recently had another after his body rejected the first one.

But that same year, he caught a cold and was given an antibiotic.

Jerome Hamon before and after two face transplants.

Doctors were forced to remove the face in November 2017, leaving him without a face for two months.

The first face transplant was performed in France in 2005 on a woman named Isabelle Dinoire, who died in 2016 after developing cancer.

Hamon's condition was called as that of "the walking dead" by Lantieri. He had limited hearing and could express himself only by turning his head slightly, in addition to writing a little.

"The fact that Professor Lantieri was able to save this patient gives us hope that other patients can have a backup surgery if necessary", Cleveland Clinic plastic surgeon Frank Papay told the AP.

"The more we see what's happening with patients, the more we have to accept that chronic rejection is a reality", Pomahac said.

"I made up my mind very quickly", Hamon told Le Parisien. "I understood I didn't have any choice otherwise it would have ended in tragedy", he said.

In the late morning hours of the following day, the surgery was completed and Hamon's new face had a good colour.

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Lantieri said that the operation had also advanced medical science.

The operation answers a key question for Lantieri and the rest of the medical world; 'Can we redo a facial transplant? "Yes, we can re-transplant, and that's what we did".

This exceptional case revealed an exceptional patient.

Everyone at the hospital "was blown away by Jerome's courage, his will, his strength of character in a tragic situation".

"While he was waiting he never complained, he was even in a good mood", he revealed.

Hamon's new face remains smooth and motionless, and his skull, skin and features are yet to be fully aligned. He speaks with difficulty.

In order to prevent organ rejection, doctors will try to closely match the immune system of transplant patients with donors who are closely matched to them.

'I feel very well in myself, ' he told reporters last week as he continues his recovery from the surgery which was carried out on January 15 and 16.

To avoid any rejection, the patient underwent three months of special blood treatment prior to the transplant, nephrologist Eric Thervet explained.

Mr Hamon was over the moon with the operation's success.

"The other patients I'm following, some have had some adjustment of their transplant over time, but they are doing fine", he said. "I thought, 'This is my new face, ' and this time, it's the same", he said. He then remained in the hospital without a face for two months awaiting a new donation. It's a question of identity.

He added: "But here we are, it's good, it's me".

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