Twin saves brother's skin in world-first transplant

Burn victim saved by skin grafts from identical twin

Burn victim saved by skin grafts from identical twin

A man who nearly died after suffering burns on 95 per cent of his body is now in recovery thanks to a skin graft from his twin brother, French doctors say.

It is the first time a skin transplant between twins was performed on such large area of the body, the hospital said in a statement.

Franck was admitted to hospital in September past year after being burned in a work accident, and the first graft from his twin was done a week later, followed by about a dozen procedures. The chances of his survival were nearly zero due to the extent of the burns.

The 33-year-old man, identified only as Franck, received skin grafted from his brother Eric's skull, back and thighs.

Because they are genetically identical the donor skin was not rejected.

Mr Mimoun is a surgeon at the Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, where the procedure was carried out.

The first graft from his twin was done a week later, followed by around 12 further procedures.

Franck underwent about 10 graft surgeries during the four-and-a-half months he was in hospital, and was then able to be released to a rehabilitation centre.

Usually in burn cases, the skin of a deceased donor is used, and the donor skin is typically rejected within weeks.

In this case, the skin was not rejected and there was no need for Franck to take powerful immunosuppressant drugs.

Today, "he is at home with his partner, he can get on with his activities, his face has healed well", Mimoun told AFP.

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