World’s first face transplant patient dies

  • Isabelle Dinoire, the world’s first face transplant patient, has passed away
  • She died after battling a long illness more than a decade since she underwent the operation
  • At the time of her death, her body had already partly rejected the transplant organs she received

Isabelle Dinoire, a French woman who received the world’s first face transplant, died after battling a long illness; more than a decade after she underwent the procedure.

After she was nearly mauled to death by a dog, Dinoire received a partial face transplant in 2005 which included a graft that comprised the nose, lips and chin from a brain-dead donor. The operation lasted 15 hours and was considered a breakthrough in medicine.

A hospital in the town of Amiens in northern France, had confirmed Dinoire’s death last April but made an official announcement only recently to respect the privacy of her family.

According to a report cited by Agence France-Presse, as previously published in ABS-CBN News, the patient had already lost the use of part of her lips after her body rejected the transplant.

She had also become susceptible to cancer due to the effects of the drugs she had to take to avoid the rejection of the transplant.

At the time of her death, she had already developed two forms of cancer.

After the news of her death broke out, a French surgeon who had already performed seven face transplants, said there is a need to wait for advances in immunology before continuing any more similar operations.

“All the patients we operated on have had reactions of rejection, which leads to higher doses of drugs, and with them, the risks. We should put these transplants on hold pending advances in immunology,” explained Dr. Jean-Pierre Meningaud who is based in a hospital in Paris.