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Man Forced To Undergo Second Face Transplant After Drugs Interfered With First Face Transplant

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A French man is the first person to undergo two face transplants. Jerome Hamon's first face transplant had to be removed last year after his body began to reject his face due to an antibiotic that he took.

Hamon has been recovering from the procedure for the last three months.

Another Face Transplant

Jerome Hamon underwent his first face transplant in 2010. But in 2015, he suffered from a cold and was given an incompatible antibiotic. The antibiotic clashed with the immunosuppressive treatment that he was given to keep his body from rejecting his face.

Hamon began to notice in 2016 that his body was beginning to reject his face. He began to suffer from necrosis — death of body tissue — and it was removed in November 2017. After having the face removed, he had to wait for two months while a compatible donor was found for him.

Without his face, Hamon was not able to see, hear, or speak until January when he underwent a second face transplant. This is because Hamon was without eyelids, ears, or skin. He was also not able to eat. To communicate, he was able to turn his head slightly and sometimes write. During this time, Hamon stayed at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris.

Hamon suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1. It is a genetic condition that causes his face to become disfigured.

Hamon's face is still motionless and doctors haven't finalized his recovery yet. His skull, skin, and features still have to be fully aligned. He joked that while he is 43 years old, the face that he received is 22 years old, so he is 22 years old again. Hamon's first face was donated by a 60-year-old.

Laurent Lantieri, Henri-Mondor Hospital's head of plastic surgery, performed both of Hamon's facial transplants. This surgery gives other doctors hope that patients who have undergone a face transplant are able to have a backup surgery. He was previously worried that without skin, Hamon would be more susceptible to an infection, and possibly a rejection of the face altogether.

History Of Face Transplants

The first face transplant took place in November 2005 in Amiens, France. The recipient was Isabelle Dinoire. Dinoire had her nose, lips, chin, and some of her cheeks removed when she was attacked by her dog in May 2005.

The first full facial transplant was performed in Barcelona, Spain in March 2010. The patient was a farmer who accidentally shot himself in the face in 2005. It took 24 hours to replace his entire face. Doctors managed to transplant the jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth, and eyelids.

There have been around 40 face transplants throughout the world. People with new faces have to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives.

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