Oh what a feeling!

Just five months after the pioneering operation Isabelle Dinoire, the world's first partial face transplant says she now has complete feeling in the new tissue on her face.

Thirty eight year old Dinoire underwent the groundbreaking 15-hour surgery in the northern French town of Amiens, to replace her chin, lips and nose last November.

It took a team of eight surgeons to rebuild her face which was severely damaged when she was mauled by her dog in May last year at her home in northern France.

Prior to the transplant, Ms Dinoire was without lips and her gums and teeth were permanently exposed; most of her nose was also missing, torn off by her Labrador, who apparently attacked her as she lay unconscious after taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

Ms Dinoire, who has two children, says her speech has improved, though forming certain words with "b" or "p" sounds was still difficult.

She is still trying to come to terms with her new look and has not replaced the mirrors she removed from her home after the accident.

She often looks at old photos of herself and is shocked at the difference.

Ms Dinoire praises the family of the donor who she says have enabled her to become "visible again".

Ms Dinoire receives an anti-rejection treatment every week and takes 10 pills every day.

As part of the on-going treatment she is required to examine a small patch of skin from the donor on her stomach several times each day, as that would alert her if the tissue was being rejected.

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