Surgeon Behind World’s-First Face And Hand Transplants Dies At 80

Surgeon Behind World's-First Face And Hand Transplants Dies At 80

(*80*)-Michel Dubernard led the world’s first hand transplant in September 1998


A pioneering French surgeon who undertook the world’s first profitable hand and face transplants has died on the age of 80, a pal instructed AFP on Sunday.

(*80*)-Michel Dubernard, who turned one among France’s most well-known medics throughout his profession working in southeastern Lyon, collapsed at Istanbul airport on Saturday evening whereas travelling together with his household, the pal mentioned, asking to not be named.

Dubernard led the world’s first hand transplant in September 1998 on a person from New Zealand, making a sensation within the medical world that introduced him world recognition.

Heading a world workforce of specialists, Dubernard and his fellow surgeons joined the affected person’s arteries, veins, nerves, tendons, muscle groups and pores and skin after pinning collectively the 2 bones of the forearm throughout a 13-hour operation.

He adopted up this feat with the primary double hand and forearm transplant two years afterward a Frenchman who had been holding a home-made rocket when it exploded.

In November 2005, Dubernard reached the peak of his fame with the primary partial face transplant, which noticed him graft on the nostril, lips and chin from a brain-dead donor onto French divorcee Isabelle Dinoire, who had been mauled by her canine.

Dinoire appeared at a outstanding information convention three months later within the full glare of the worldwide media, carrying thick make-up to disguise the scars however with an in any other case restored face.

“We want to launch these new techniques to give hope to other people all over the world,” Dubernard, then aged 64, mentioned.

The first full face transplant was carried out by a Spanish workforce in March 2010.


Dubernard, a rugby fan and father of three, was identified for his outstanding work ethic and fervour for his occupation.

He credited his choice to develop into a physician to a bout of appendicitis as a baby and his curiosity in transplants on listening to in regards to the first profitable organ graft — of a kidney — within the United States in 1954.

“My only motivation is to advance our understanding of medicine. I do it for my patients,” he instructed Le Monde newspaper in 2005.

He additionally wrote broadly in medical journals about his experience, in addition to the challenges of transplants for recipients, each bodily and psychological.

“Psychological consequences of hand and face allografts (transplants) show that it is not so easy to use and see permanently a dead person’s hands nor is it easy to look in a mirror and see a dead person’s face,” he wrote in an article for European Urology in 2006.

His excessive profile and strategies additionally meant that his sufferers and his work have been subjected to intense scrutiny and sometimes criticism.

The National Order of Doctors condemned the discharge of pictures of Dinoire after her face transplant and it accused the medical workforce led by Dubernard and fellow surgeon Bernard Devauchelle of attention-seeking.

“Premature and uncontrolled communication put all the focus on the technical feat, at the expense of the proper respect owed to the patient and to the donor — for her generosity and that of her family,” the order mentioned in an announcement.

‘A dream’

His first hand transplant additionally attracted unwelcome publicity when it emerged that the recipient, Clint Hallam, had stopped taking the highly effective immuno-suppressants wanted to cease his physique rejecting the brand new hand.

Hallam, who had had an accident with a noticed whereas in jail, begged to have the brand new hand amputated in 2000, saying he felt “mentally detached” from it, however Dubernard refused on the grounds that it was nonetheless useful.

The convicted fraudster left his medical doctors livid for what they noticed as losing his alternative however he succeeded in having the hand eliminated in London in 2001.

Dinoire died in 2016, 11 years after her face transplant, having battled sicknesses, temper swings and several other bouts of most cancers linked to the highly effective medicine she wanted to take every day to cease her physique rejecting the tissue, in accordance with experiences.

Le Figaro newspaper mentioned that Dinoire’s physique had begun rejecting the transplant the yr earlier than her demise and that “she had lost part of the use of her lips”.

Dubernard’s affect lives on in Lyon the place youthful generations of surgeons proceed to push the boundaries of science.

In January this yr, an Icelandic man obtained the world’s first double shoulder and arm transplant within the metropolis, twenty years after an accident that had value him each limbs.

The operation was “his biggest dream”, the person’s spouse instructed a information convention.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by India07 employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)


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