World’s first full face transplant

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  • French surgeons carry out a successful full face transplant on 35-year-old man with a genetic disorder.

    In a world first, it has been reported that surgeons in France have completed the first ever full face transplant.

    The ground-breaking operation, which lasted over twelve hours, was carried out on the 27th June at the Creteil-Mondor hospital in Paris.  The patient was a 35-year-old man known only as Jerome.  

    ‘It’s a world first,’ said a hospital source. ‘There have been partial face transplants before, but nothing like this.’

    The Frenchman, whose face was deformed by a genetic disorder, received features from a dead donor. They include eyelids, facial muscles and even tear ducts, which will now allow him to cry naturally.

    The new face will ‘mould itself’ to the patient’s bone structure, assured lead surgeon, Prof. Laurent Lantieri. ‘He will begin to resemble his original self – and not the dead patient,’ he added.

    There has been some concern, in the past, of the psychological effects on face transplant patients. In 2008, Li Guoxing from China died two years after his transplant.  It was believed the trauma of having to take strong anti-rejection drugs had taken their toll.

    Jerome will be watched closely, but for now the patient is reportedly doing well. ‘He is walking, eating and talking,’ said Prof. Lantieri.

    This procedure is the fourth face transplant carried out in France in as many years. French medics first hit the headlines in 2005, when Isabelle Dinoire underwent the first face transplant after her original face was mutilated by her pet dog.

    British surgeons may be unnerved by this latest success, as they are lagging far behind in the dubbed ‘Face Race’, with their medical teams yet to perform one.


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