Monday, February 06, 2006

Facing the world anew

Isabelle Dinoire, the French woman who received the first-ever face transplant in November after her nose and lips were disfigured by a dog, appeared in public for the first time and revealed her identity.

This is how she looks after the operation. Brooks Bulletin reports:

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached. Dinoire appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But in terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft appeared remarkable.

A scandal about Dinoire's private life had emerged after the operation when it was reported that she had tried committing suicide in a fit of depression last May. But those doubts were quickly dispelled when Dr. Daniele Bachmann, a psychiatrist who had also treated the world's first double hand transplant patient, expressed confidence.

Bachmann declined to comment about Isabelle's personal life, saying that they mostly talked about the present and not the past. Asked if there were any concerns that Isabelle was not the ideal patient for such a radical treatment, she replied: "First of all, is there anyone perfect on earth?"

The most important consideration, Bachmann said, was whether Isabelle would be motivated and stable enough to take her potent anti-rejection medication every day for the rest of her life. "I don't think there are any worries about the treatment," she said.

The Media chatter: How reprehensible!

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