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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 17:11 GMT
Man has partial face transplant
Isabelle Dinoire
Isabelle Dinoire was the first person to have a partial face transplant
French doctors have performed a partial face transplant on a 29-year-old man in the third operation of its type.

The patient, who doctors say is doing well, suffered from a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis, which seriously disfigured his face.

Surgeons gave him a new nose, mouth and chin, and replaced part of his cheeks.

A Frenchwoman became the first person in the world to undergo a partial face transplant last year after being disfigured by her pet dog.

We will have to wait many months for the results
Dr Laurent Lantieri

On the one-year anniversary of the procedure in November, doctors said that Isabelle Dinoire's operation was a success and that she is gaining more sensitivity and facial mobility.

Since that surgery, a Chinese farmer also received a partial face transplant after he was badly disfigured in a bear attack.

The latest operation, which lasted for 15 hours, was carried out at Henri-Mondor hospital in the Paris suburb of Creteil on Sunday.

Previous critic

Dr Laurent Lantieri, who led the operation, said: "The patient is doing well from a surgical point of view.

"We will have to wait many months for the results."

Neurofibromatosis causes tumours to grow on nerve tissue throughout the body.

It is similar to the disorder that affected Joseph Merrick, who became widely known as "The Elephant Man".

Dr Lantieri, an adviser to the French medical ethics panel, was a critic of the French team that carried out the first partial face transplant.

He argued that the surgeons should have tried reconstructive surgery first.

The latest procedure is different because the patient was disfigured by a genetic condition, not an accident.

In October, an ethics panel approved plans by surgeons at the Royal Free Hospital in London to carry out what could be the world's first full-face transplant.

The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is also working on plans for full-face transplants.


SEE ALSO
'My face transplant saved me'
17 Oct 06 |  Health
Woman has first face transplant
30 Nov 05 |  Health
Q&A: Face transplant
16 Dec 05 |  Health

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