A 43-year-old French man is the first person in the world to successfully undergo two face transplants, CNN reports.
Jerome Hamon had his first transplant in 2010, to treat a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. This condition occurs when tumors grow along nerves in the skin, brain and other parts of the body. However, Hamon’s body rejected that first transplant.
Hamon had another transplant early this year.
Transplant team leader Dr. Laurent Lantieri, told CNN;
“It is his second transplant but his third face. This shows that a face is an organ like any organ that can be transplanted and retransplanted.”
Hamon is receiving mental health support and speech therapy along with medicines to reduce the risk that the second transplant is rejected.
After spending a total of eight months in the hospital, Hamon was discharged for a week to be with his family, CNN reported.
According to Dr. Maria Siemionow, a professor of orthopedic surgery in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine; “A second successful face transplant is a significant achievement.
Dr Siemionow led the first face transplant in the United States in 2008.
“The fact that Dr. Lantieri was able to perform a second face transplantation on this patient is the first case of its kind for the face transplant field,” she told CNN.
Siemionow told CNN that globally, at least 39 face transplants have been successfully performed.