French Man First in World to Have Second Face Transplant

A man in France is the first person in the world to successfully undergo two face transplants.

In 2010, Jerome Hamon, 43, had his first transplant to treat a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, in which tumors grow along nerves in the skin, brain and other parts of the body. However, Hamon's body rejected that transplant, CNN reported.

Early this year, he underwent another transplant.

"It is his second transplant but his third face," said transplant team leader Dr. Laurent Lantieri, CNN reported. "This shows that a face is an organ like any organ that can be transplanted and retransplanted."

Along with medicines to reduce the risk that the second transplant is rejected, Hamon is also receiving mental health support and speech therapy.

Lantieri said that after spending a total of eight months in the hospital, Hamon was discharged for a week to be with his family, CNN reported.

A second successful face transplant is a significant achievement, according to Dr. Maria Siemionow, a professor of orthopedic surgery in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine who 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 recipient is the first case of its kind for the face transplant field," she told CNN.

Worldwide, at least 39 face transplants have been performed, according to Siemionow.

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