Man after second face transplant: 'I'm 20 years younger'

Man after second face transplant: 'I'm 20 years younger'

Man after second face transplant: 'I'm 20 years younger'

In a medical first, a French surgeon says he has performed a second face transplant on the same patient. With his second transplanted face, Mr Hamon said he managed to drop a few decades. His new face remains smooth and motionless, and his skull, skin and features are yet to be fully aligned.

Last November, complications led Dr Lantieri to remove the transplanted face. Hamon underwent months of blood treatment before the operation to try to stave off a rejection of the new face.

Jérôme Hamon is the first person in the world to receive two face transplants.

By late morning the following day, the groundbreaking surgery was over and the medical team were heartened to observe good colour in Hamon's new face.

Jerome Hamon, 43, is recuperating in a Paris hospital.

He is now in a Paris hospital, three months after undergoing an unprecedented second transplant carried out by Laurent Lantieri, the same professor of plastic surgery who carried out the first procedure. Hamon has a condition called neurofibromatosis type 1, which can cause skin tumors on the face and elsewhere.

"The fact that Professor Lantieri was able to save this patient gives us hope that other patients can have a backup surgery if necessary", said Frank Papay, of the Cleveland Clinic, who performed the first face transplant in the US.

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Jérôme Hamon had his first transplanted face removed a year ago after signs of rejection following a treatment with an incompatible antibiotic during a cold. Mr Hamon had no eyelids, no ears, no skin and could not speak or eat. He had limited hearing and could express himself by turning his head slightly, in addition to writing a little.

He remained in hospital without a face for two months, a very hard time, while a compatible donor was sought. Anesthetist Bernard Cholley told Agence France-Presse that medical staff were 'blown away by Jerome's courage, his will, his strength of character in a tragic situation.' Cholley said, "While he was waiting he never complained, he was even in a good mood".

"I'm 43. The donor was 22". There have been some 40 face transplant operations around the world since 2005.

"Today, we know that a double transplant is feasible".

Despite all the anxiety and suffering, Hamon is a happy man again.

"The other patients I'm following, some have had some adjustment of their transplant over time, but they are doing fine", he said. It's a question of identity... "I thought "this is my new face" and this time it's the same", he explained. "But here we are, it's good, it's me".

Now Mr Hamon has told French news agency AFP that "I feel very well in myself", adding: "The first transplant I accepted immediately".

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