Man gets his 'third face' in transplant operation

French medicine professor Laurent Lantieri, a specialist in hand and face transplant poses with members of his team and his patient Jerome Hamon

Hamon was in hospital without a face for two months before a compatible donor was found and a successful second transplant carried out.

"I feel very well in myself", Jerome Hamon told reporters last week as he continues to recover from the January 15 and 16 surgery at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, the UK's Telegraph reported.

Hamon's new face remains smooth and motionless, with his skull, skin and features yet to be fully aligned - a gradual process reliant on immunosuppressant drugs which, it is hoped, will prevent his body rejecting the transplanted material.

'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. "I can't wait to get rid of all this", he said.

Mr Hamon, who suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic condition that can cause disfigurement, received his first facial transplant in 2010 in an operation overseen by Laurent Lantieri, France's most-celebrated cosmetic surgeon.... But that same year - in order to treat a common cold - he was given an antibiotic incompatible with his immunosuppressive treatment.

Doctors removed Hamon's first transplanted face previous year after it began to show signs that it was being rejected by his body, reports said, after a period of antibiotic treatment he was given to fight a cold.

Hamon was left without a face. The man had no eyelids, no skin, no ears, he could not eat or speak, had limited hearing and could only communicate by turning his head and a little bit of writing. Dr. Laurent Lantieri, who performed the first transplant surgery, also conducted the second.

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

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

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

He underwent the first procedure in 2010, but his body started rejecting it in 2016.

"For a man who went through all this, which is like going through a nuclear war, he's doing fine", Lantieri said.

He said the techniques being developed by Professor Lantieri and others could help doctors achieve what he called "the holy grail" of transplant medicine: allowing patients to tolerate tissue transplants from others. The donor was 22 years old. With his second transplanted face, Hamon said he managed to drop a few decades.

"I'm 43 and the donor was 22 so I'm 22 again!" "So I've become 20 years younger", Hamon joked on French television on Tuesday.

"The first transplant I accepted immediately".

"The other patients I'm following, some have had some adjustment of their transplant over time, but they are doing fine", he said. "I consider that it's my true face, the one I've accepted". It's a question of identity ...



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