French Man Becomes First Person in the World to Undergo 2 Face Transplants

Jerome Hamon suffered from condition that caused disfiguring tumors.
Plastic surgeon Laurent Lantieri shows the three faces of Jerome Hamon. Getty

A French man has become the first person in the world to undergo two face transplants.

Jerome Hamon, 43, is recuperating in a Paris hospital. He underwent his first transplant in 2010 but his body later rejected the new tissue and it had to be removed.

Hamon suffers from a rare condition that leaves him with disfiguring tumors. 

He received his newest face three months ago. Plastic surgeon Laurent Lantieri, who also performed Hamon's first transplant, did this one as well.

"I feel very well in myself," Hamon told reporters, according to The Guardian. "I can't wait to get rid of all this."

His new skin came from a 22-year-old. It has not yet been completely aligned with his eye sockets and other features. That will come as he undergoes a lengthy therapy of drugs designed to prevent his body from rejecting his transplanted face. 

Hamon's first procedure went well until he was given an antibiotic to treat a cold. The medication turned out to be incompatible with his immunosuppressive drugs.

By 2016, the skin on his face started to die, and Lantieri was forced to remove the transplanted tissue.

Hamon was left without a face. Lantieri called his patient "the walking dead" because he was unable to speak or eat, and had no ears, eyelids or skin.

He stayed in the hospital until a compatible donor could be found. He had to endure a month-long procedure to replace all the blood in his body to get rid of antibodies that could interfere with his new transplant

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

There have been about 40 face transplants since Isabelle Dinoire became the first person to undergo such treatment in 2005. 

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