World's 1st Face Transplant Recipient Dies at 49

A French woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant after being mauled by her dog, died several months ago, at age 49.

Isabelle Dinoire died eleven years after receiving the partial face transplant, AP reported.

The Amiens University Hospital in France, where Dinoire was treated, said in a statement that she died in April, though the hospital waited to announce the news so her family could grieve privately, according to AP.

In 2005, Dinoire received a new chin, nose and lips, from a brain-dead woman.

Dinoire, the divorced mother of two, was going through a hard time before the 2005 dog attack and had taken some “drugs to forget,” AP reported.

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She said she passed out, and her Labrador severely bit her while she was unconscious.

Like all transplant recipients Dinoire received medication to prevent her from rejecting the new body tissue. Following the surgery, she was plagued with infections and hypotension due to her treatment.

Since Dinoire's partial face transplant in 2005 in Amiens, France, about 36 other face transplants have occurred.

But while Dinoire’s partial face transplant was a success, some doctors are questioning whether the procedure is worth the long-term risk.

Paul Meningaud, head of the reconstructive surgery department at the Henri Mondor Hospital, who has performed seven face transplants in France, told AP he believes the medical community needs to step back.

Meningaud said patients have struggled with anti-rejection medications and require additional surgeries.

"It's a rather high price to pay for the patient. It's time to mark a pause," Meningaud, who was no associated with Dinoire’s surgery, told AP.

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