'Man with three faces' on road to recovery

Laurent Lantieri of the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris first transplanted a new face onto Jerome Hamon - whose face was severely disfigured by tumours - in 2010, when Mr Hamon was in his mid-30s. The patient is reportedly doing well, and even spent a brief vacation in Brittany.

The hours-long task was driven by Prof Laurent Lantieri, an authority close by and confront transplants who did Mr. Hamon's underlying surgery eight years prior. The 43-year-old, who suffers from a genetic mutation which causes disfiguring tumors and complications, underwent his second face transplant almost four months ago at a hospital in Paris.

'I can't wait to get rid of all this, ' he adds, speaking with difficulty of all the major treatment he has undergone to become the first man to have received two face transplants.

He first underwent a face transplant to treat the tumors caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 in 2010, but in 2016 his body started rejecting it and his face deteriorated, according to the Telegraph. By November of 2017, tissue had started to die on the face, so Lantieri removed it.

That left Hamon without a face, a condition that Lantieri described as "the walking dead". 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.

"If you have no skin, you have infections", Lantieri told the Associated Press on Tuesday. He also said, " I was ready for a new treatment but there was a possibility of rejection".

In January, a new face donor was found and a second procedure carried out.

Mr Hamon had been receiving three months of blood treatment ahead of the operation, in a bid to reduce the risk of his rejecting a donor face for a second time.

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Jérôme Hamon is the first person to have received two face transplants.

"For a man who went through all this, which is like going through a nuclear war, he's doing fine", Lantieri said. The donor was 22 years old. "So I've become 20 years younger", Mr Hamon joked on French television Tuesday. His body accepted the new face. It's a question of identity ... "But here we are, it's good, it's me", he told AFP news agency.

The breakthrough surgery has been successful and Hamon's face is now smooth and static.

Mr Lantieri said: "Can we redo a facial transplant?" "Face transplants will become essentially non-functional, distorted and that may be a good time to consider re-transplanting".

There have now been around 40 face transplants throughout the world since the first was performed on Ms Dinoire in northern France in 2005.

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

Anesthetist Bernard Cholley said that any individual who loses their face and afterward needs to sit tight for a speculative transplant for an obscure timeframe - that is something that nobody has ever needed to experience here.

  • Ismael Montgomery