If you’ve been following the groundbreaking face transplant surgery — the recipient is French woman Isabelle Dinoire — you won’t want to miss this morning’s coverage in the BBC or the renderings it contains.
What is striking is how successful this surgery is. Dinoir’s new face, transplanted from a cadaver, bears a stark resemblance to the original. Scroll below for an excerpt from the BBC or read the whole story here. There’s a link to a BBC interview via podcast below also.
Image of Isabelle Dinoire pre, during and post face transplant: courtesy University of Maryland Medical Center, via BBC News
From the BCC interview with Dinoir:
Speaking with a slight impediment – and with almost alarming simplicity – she recounts how, in a fit of depression in May 2005, she took an overdose of sleeping pills in an attempt to end her life … she awoke to find herself at home, lying beside a pool of blood, with her pet Labrador at her side. The dog had apparently found her unconscious, and desperate to rouse her, had gnawed away at her face.
“I couldn’t even begin to imagine it was my face or my blood – or that the dog had chewed my face,” she says.
The injuries to her mouth, nose and chin were so extreme that doctors immediately ruled out a routine face reconstruction. Instead they proposed a ground-breaking face transplant.
Isabelle Dinoire in November 2005 emerged as the first human in the world to get a face transplant. She is now 45. In the rare interview, she said: “From the first time I saw myself in the mirror after the operation I knew it was a victory,” she told interviewers. “It didn’t look that good because of all the bandages, but I had a nose, I had a mouth – it was fantastic,” she says. “I could see in the eyes of the nurses that it was a success.”