Face graft re-transplantation by the France's Bio-medicine Agency has made media hits. It is a world record, as it is the first time that doctors have replaced one donor face with another after the unnamed 40-year-old's body rejected his first transplant. After his original operation was completed, he had to be kept on life support in an induced coma until the follow-up procedure could be completed.
Well not surprisingly, the procedure is still referred to as high-risk despite the first graft being completed in 1994. Furthermore, the rare procedure has only been completed 40 times to date and at least six patients have died from the surgery. In most of the procedures, patients who are victims of accidents, violence or genetic disorders and often need the transplants to be able to breathe, eat and speak.
The transplant also helps the recipient with non-verbal communication such as smiling and frowning, though the receiver of the transplant will have to rely on immuno-suppressant medicines which stop the body rejecting the new organ but can leave people vulnerable to infections and cancers.