The French surgeons made headlines 12 years ago, after successfully conducting the first ever living Face transplant or face-grafting. Now another team of French doctors has also made medical history with the world’s first successful face “Re-plantation.”

A 40-year-old anonymous Frenchman, underwent a second face transplant or face grafting after his body rejected the first face which he received seven years ago. The recipient had his first face graft removed on November 20, 2017, which meant he had to live without a face for two months and kept in a medically-induced coma in intensive care.

What does face grafting even mean?

Face grafting is a rare Surgical Procedure that involves removing the entire face of the patient and replacing with a donor's face. It is still regarded as a high-risk procedure despite the first unsuccessful grafting which was done in 1994. However, the first successful face transplant took place in France on November 27, 2005, on a living woman whose face had been mauled and disfigured by a dog. She reportedly died from cancer last year, caused by medications which were used to stop her body from rejecting the new face.

Afterwards, over 50 people have reportedly used the procedure, and unfortunately, only six have survived. Although after a prolonged period, they lost the use of some parts of their face which ultimately led to difficulty in feeding, speaking, smiling, breathing, etc.

Most people undergo the rare procedure as a result of medical conditions such as genetic disorders and trauma, many of which cause the patient great pain. There was a recent case February 2017, of a suicide-gone-wrong victim who needed a face graft because his face was severely disfigured.

But now, more than a decade on, and the 31-year-old barely recognizes himself when he looks in the mirror.

His nose, cheeks, mouth, lips. jaw, chin, even teeth came from the donor. Resting in his hospital bed after the op - one of the rarest procedures in the world - Andy still couldn't speak but was desperate to have his say.

A new life for the anonymous Frenchman

While the surgical procedure has been performed, it will take weeks for The French surgeons to determine if the procedure was successful or not, as the statistics of the long-term complications are still being accumulated as this is the first most successful face re-plantation in the world.

However, if the rare procedure proves successful, it will open up the potential for face re-grafting on other patients.

The 40-year-old’s body rejected the first face transplant because the body still regarded the new face as a “foreign body” and as such couldn’t work with other parts of the body such as blood not circulating to properly to the lips, eyes, etc.