New face transplant in France

AFP:

A 28-year-old man has received a face transplant at a hospital outside Paris, the doctor who performed the surgery told AFP Friday.

The 15-hour operation, completed Friday morning at Henri Mondor Hospital in Creteil, a suburb east of Paris, is the fifth face transplant in the world, and the third in France.

“The patient’s face was disfigured by a shotgun blast,” the surgeon, Laurent Lantieri, said.

“The patient is awake and is doing well. But it is far too early to say whether the transplant will take,” he said, adding that 15 medical personnel took part in operation.

A patient’s immune system will frequently reject a skin graft from a donor, requiring the systematic use of immunosuppressive drugs.

The gun shot had destroyed the muscles in the man’s lower face such that he could not open his mouth, even after several operations, Lantieri explained.

A large portion of the face of the donor was removed, along with bone to repair the recipient’s upper jaw.

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