First-ever total face transplant carried out in FranceJuly 8th, 2010 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS
Paris, July 8 (DPA) A French surgeon has carried out the world’s first-ever successful transplant of an entire face, the daily Le Parisien reported Thursday.
The 12-hour procedure was performed June 26 and 27 at the Henri-Mondor public hospital in Creteil, a suburb of Paris, by Laurent Lantieri.
The patient was a 35-year-old man whose face had been ravaged by neurofibromatosis, a genetic illness in which the nerve tissue grows tumours. It is also known as ‘elephant man’ disease.
The operation included removing the eyelids, their muscles and the tear ducts from an unidentified donor and grafting them onto the face of the patient, identified only as Jerome.
In April, a Spanish team of surgeons had claimed to carry out the world’s first face transplant, but their procedure did not include the eyelids and tear ducts.
“He walks, he eats, he talks,” Lantieri said of Jerome. “His beard has already begun to grow on his new face.”
The surgeon said Jerome was pleased with his new face. “The first time he saw himself in the mirror, he raised both thumbs,” he said.
The risks for Jerome now are psychological and the threat of rejection of the new tissue by his body.
The operation took place five years after another landmark operation by French doctors, who transplanted the lower half of a face on a woman whose features had been disfigured by a dog.
Lantieri said his new project would be to carry out total face transplants on burn victims.
“I still have not resolved all the difficulties to carry out face transplants on this type of patient,” he said. “That is my next challenge.”
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Tags: burn victims, elephant, elephant man disease, eyelids, face transplants, first face transplant, france paris, french doctors, french surgeon, genetic illness, henri mondor, le parisien, muscles, nerve tissue, new face, rejection, spanish team, suburb of paris, tear ducts, tumours