The first man in the world to have received two face transport, Jerome Hamon, underwent his first face transplant surgery in 2010, in Paris so that he could get rid of a genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis.
Neurofibromatosis, though a non-cancerous condition, is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in the brain as well as the spinal cords and the nerves in the body of humans.
As earlier mentioned, Hamon underwent the surgery in 2010 but his immune system rejected the transplant.
In 2016 he began to show signs of transplant rejection as his new face was deteriorating.
Transplant rejection transpires when a patient’s immune system, attacks the transplanted organ. And when this happens, the body’s constant immune response can damage the transplanted organ slowly
The second transplant was performed by the staff at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, led by Professor Laurent Lantieri, a professor of plastic surgery.
And as stated by the professor who led this medical team of surgeons, this being the second transplant shows that a face is an organ like any organ which can be transplanted and be re-transplanted.
A face donor was found, a 22-year-old man who had some hundreds of kilometers away from Paris.
The donor’s face was transported as quickly as possible by road on the Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris.
The team of surgeon performed the second face transplantation on Tuesday afternoon in January. The surgery ended the following morning, on Wednesday.
The risk of rejecting the second face transplant must let down. For this to happen effectively, Hamon had to go through immunological therapy. He also received psychological support and speech therapy.
Dr. Maria Siemionow, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University Illinois, said that Hamon’s case marked a remarkable moment in the medical field.
She said: “Some patients have to have a second kidney, some patients have to have a second heart transplant or a second liver, so in terms of re-transplanting or transplanting again in a patient with a solid organ is not new, but this is new for the field of face transplantation, for sure.”
In spite of the suffering and pains he underwent, Hamon is a very happy man now, seeing how successful the surgery was. Concerning the first face transplant,
he said: “The first transplant I accepted immediately. I thought ‘this is my new face’ and this time it’s the same.”
After the second face transplant, he said:
“I feel very well in myself. If I hadn’t accepted this new face it would have been terrible. It’s a question of identity… But here we are, it’s good, it’s me.”