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The woman who received the world's first face transplant has died

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Eleven years after the groundbreaking procedure

Anniversary Of The World's First Partial Face Transplant Photo by CHU Amiens via Getty Images

The French woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant 11 years ago has died, according to the Associated Press. Isabelle Dinoire received a new nose, mouth, and chin during a 15-hour groundbreaking procedure in 2005, after her pet Labrador mauled her face while she was blacked out on sleeping pills.

Dinoire received a new nose, mouth, and chin

Her death was announced today by the Amiens University Hospital, the institution that performed the transplant. The procedure, which involved transferring skin, muscles, bones, and blood vessels from the face of a brain-dead patient onto Dinoire’s skull, was internationally acclaimed. It also opened the doors to dozens of other face transplants around the world. The surgery of course comes with dangers: patients have to take powerful immunosuppressants to avoid rejecting the new organs. And that can have serious side effects.

The Amiens University Hospital said Dinoire, 49, died in April after a long illness. News about the cause of her death is conflicting: the AP says it’s unclear whether the illness was related to the transplant. But the BBC reported that Dinoire was weakened by the use of immunosuppressants and died of cancer.