In a primary medical examination, a French surgeon says he did a second facial transplant on the same patient – he's fine now, and even spent a recent weekend in Brittany.
Laurent Lantieri from the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, Jerome Hamon first transplanted a new face in 2010 when Hamon was in his mid 30s.
But after getting ill in 2015, Hamon got anti-rejection medications
Last November, the tissue in his transplanted face began to die, causing Lantieri to remove it.
This left Hamon without a face, a condition that Lantieri calls "walking" dead. "Hamon had no eyelids, no ears, no skin and could neither talk nor eat, he had limited hearing and could only by slightly turning the head, in addition to writing a little.
"If you have no skin, you have infections," Lantieri told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday. "We were very worried about the possibility of one Rejection. "
In January, when a second face donor became available to Hamon, Lantieri and his team performed a second facial transplant, but before the second transplant was performed, the physicians had to do all the blood in his body in a one-month procedure to eliminate some potentially worrying antibodies from previous treatments.
"For a man who did all this t has what it is through a nuclear war he is fine, "said Lantieri. He added that Hamon is now being monitored like any other face transplant patient.
Hamon's first face was donated by a 60-year-old. With his second transplanted face, Hamon said he had managed to drop a few decades.
"I'm 43. The donor was 22. So I'm 20 years younger," joked Hamon on Tuesday on French television.
Other physicians applauded the efforts of the French team and said the techniques could be used to help critically ill patients with few options.
"The fact that Professor Lantieri was able to rescue this patient gives us hope that other patients may need a backup operation," Dr. Frank Papay of the Cleveland Clinic, who performed the first facial transplant in the US
He said the techniques developed by Lantieri and others could help doctors achieve what he called "the holy grail" of transplantation medicine: enabling that patients tolerate tissue transplants from others
Dr. Bohdan Pomahac of Harvard University, who performed facial transplants in the US, said that similar procedures would become more common as the number of patients increased.
"The more we see what happens to (face transplant) patients, the more they have to accept that chronic rejection is a reality," Pomahac said. "Face grafts are essentially non-functional, distorted, and this might be a good time to consider transplanting."
He said it was not yet known how long facial transplants could take, but they might be similar to the kidneys (1
Lantieri said he and his team would soon publish their findings in a medical journal, but he hoped that cases like Hamon would remain the exception.
"The other patients I follow have some They have had a change in their transplant over time, but they are fine," he said. "I hope not to make future transplants like this."
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