First Face Transplant Patient Smiles—Slightly

Patient faces massive side effects

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2007 3:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Isabelle Dinoire can smile a little, her doctors reported yesterday, a big accomplishment for the world’s first face transplant recipient. Her case shows that the controversial surgery can work—but it also highlighted the risks involved. Dinoire has dealt with two tissue-rejection episodes, two kidney failures, anemia and high blood pressure in the 18 months since the transplant in France.

“Everyone in the world said this should not be done because the world was not ready and the risks were too high,” said one plastic surgeon. Dinoire is said to be happy, and unafraid to walk the street. “She now has a human face,” said one of her doctors. “If she wanted to kiss someone, she could.” 

Combo of pictures of French Isabelle Dinoire, 39, who underwent the world's first facial face transplant. When Isabelle Dinoire received the transplant, doctors warned she might never be able to kiss...   (Getty Images)
Isabelle Dinoire of France is shown a few months after her face-transplant surgery in this 2006 file photo. She continues to make progress.   (Getty Images)
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