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Face Transplant: Frenchman Jerome Hamon is the first in the world to do it twice



Laurent Lantieri, right, a French hand and face transplant specialist, posted with members of his team and patient Jerome Hamon at the Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou in Paris. (Philippe Lopez / AFP / Getty Images)

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

And a few months after his second transplant in January, he talked to reporters and told them he felt healthy.

"I still have moments when I'm exhausted, but overall I'm fine," he said.

Doctors removed Hamon's first transplanted face last year after showing signs that it had been rejected by his body, reports said, after a period of antibiotic treatment he was given to fight a cold. The antibiotics contradicted the immunosuppressant treatment he received to prevent facial rejection, the BBC reported, and in November last year the face had to be removed for necrosis.

Hamon remained unembedged at Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, unable to see, hear, or speak until the second transplant took place, the news agency reported. Hamon was treated with blood for months before surgery to prevent rejection of the new face. The donor was 22 years old

Jerome Hamon. (Philippe Lopez / AFP / Getty Images)

"I'm 43," Hamon said on French television, according to the Associated Press. "So I'm 20 years younger."

The French media have baptized Hamon "the man with three faces". The doctors praise the openness with which he has seen his difficult medical diary. Hamon has a condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1, which can cause skin cancer on the face and elsewhere.

Anesthesiologist Bernard Cholley told Agence France-Presse that medical staff "overwhelmed by Jerome's courage, will and strength of character is a tragic situation."

"While he waited, he never complained, he even was in a good mood, "said Cholley.

The doctors are waiting for the results of Hamon's second facial graft.

"Today We know that a double transplant is feasible, it's not in the field of research anymore," said Laurent Lantieri, who had carried out Hamon's first operation years ago, to the BBC opposite Le Parisien.

Other doctors also described the procedure as a breakthrough.

The fact that Professor Lantieri was able to rescue this patient gives us the hope that other patients will be able to perform backup surgery as needed, "said Cleveland Clinic plastic surgeon Frank Papay AP physicians expect facial transplant procedures, of which there have been 40 since their first implementation in France in 2005, to become more common.

The plastic surgeon Bohdan Pomahac of Harvard University told the AP that doctors still do not know exactly How long the face takes transplants, but have predicted about 10 to 15 years, which is similar to the kidneys.

"The more we see what happens to patients, the more we have to accept that chronic rejection is a reality "Pomahac said," facial transplants are essentially non-functional, distorted, and this might be a good time to seek another tran to consider implantation. "

Hamon said he had adopted his new face.

"I immediately accepted the first transplant, and I thought: This is my new face, and this time it's the same," he said. "If I had not accepted this new face, it would have been terrible, it's a matter of identity."

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

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