World's first face, hands transplant patient dies

Jun 15, 2009

A Frenchman who underwent the world's first face and double-hand transplant in April after being disfigured in an accident has died, hospital officials said Monday.

The man, in his thirties, died of cardiac arrest while undergoing a follow-up operation on June 8, according to Laurent Lantieri, the surgeon who performed the groundbreaking transplant near Paris.

"He developed a facial infection a few weeks after his operation, and during an operation to try to tackle the infection he suffered cardiac arrest," Lantieri told RTL radio.

Lantieri said the patient's death was linked to a heart problem, not to the transplant itself.

"Developing an infection is a common phenomenon among transplant patients," he said. "All the biopsies we performed showed there was absolutely no rejection. Neither was it a vascular problem."

"We have no explanation for the cardiac arrest," Lantieri said, adding that he was awaiting results of a post-mortem examination.

Surgeons had replaced the patient's entire face above the lips, including the scalp, nose, ears and forehead, in a 30-hour operation involving a medical team of more than 40.

The recipient, on a donor waiting list for more than a year, had scars from burns to the face and hands so severe that it had robbed him of all social life.

Worldwide, there have been five other face transplants to date, three of them in France, but it was the first time a transplant of both hands and the face had been completed in one go.

The first successful was performed in France in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Second face transplant in US performed

Apr 10, 2009

Surgeons in Boston have performed the second-ever partial face transplant in the United States, replacing some 80 percent of a disfigured man's face.

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

Dec 19, 2014

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.