top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down
Wednesday 28 September 2022
inner cx logo
icon mailbox
Resident or second-home owner in France? Join our newsletter

Brittany man first to receive double face transplant

A Brittany man, who is the first person in the world to ever receive two facial transplants, has successfully undergone his second procedure and is recovering in hospital in Paris.

Jérôme Hamon, aged 43, suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic condition that causes disfiguring facial tumours and other complications.

Now known as “the man with three faces”, he received his first facial transplant - including tear ducts and eyelids - in 2010 in Paris. The operation was said to be the first ever full facial transplant.

Yet, a second transplant was required after the first face was rejected by Mr Hamon’s body following a course of antibiotics for a cold, which were revealed to be incompatible with his immunosuppressant drugs.

After three months in hospital without a face - as a donor was sought - Mr Hamon received his second facial graft on January 15 and 16 this year.

He has this week been revealed as recovering well at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. Professor Laurent Lantieri, the surgeon who performed Mr Hamon’s first transplant, led a pioneering team in this second procedure.

The second face came from a 22-year-old donor who died hundreds of miles from Paris. His body was transported by road as quickly as possible, as soon as it became clear that he would be a compatible donor.

Mr Hamon had been receiving three months of blood treatment ahead of the operation, in a bid to reduce the risk of his rejecting a donor face for a second time.

Now, Mr Hamon is able to talk, but his new face is not yet completely aligned with his muscles. This is expected to improve as his skull, skin and features grow together, as the immunosuppressant drugs do their work.

Commenting on the situation, Mr Hamon said: “I feel well. The hardest thing is the length of the hospitalisation with the rituals of taking medicine throughout the days. It’s tiring, and I can’t wait to be free of it.”

He added: “The first transplant I accepted immediately. I thought 'this is my new face' and this time it's the same. 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."

France has a history of pioneering facial surgery; in 2005 the late Isabelle Dinoire became the first person in the world to successfully undergo a partial transplant, in Amiens (Somme, ‎Hauts-de-France).

There have now been around 40 such operations around the world.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now