The move follows a similar operation in which another group of Chinese doctors managed to give a car accident victim a new nose by growing it first on his forehead. In the latest operation 17-year-old Xu Jianmei woke up after the operation this week to find that she once again had a chin, eyelids and ear. But she said best of all she could smile properly for the first time in 12 years since the fire that left her horrifically disfigured when she was just five.
The transplant team in Fujian province built her new face using a blood vessel from her leg and a water-filled ballon to expand her skin. In then took several months to grow the new face until it was large enough to cover her missing facial features.
“With her new face she will be able to express herself in a more precise way. She will even be able to blush when her emotions change, but it will take a long time ,” her surgeon, Jiang Chenhong claimed.
Jiang, said that first we took a piece of blood vessel fascia fro her thigh and implanted it in her chest. Then we inserted a skin expander beneath the part of skin where the blood vessel fascia was planted, so that the part could expand and produce enough skin for her new face.
Chinese team are said to have perform several transplant surgeries in recent months, including creating a new nose on a car accident survivors forehead, using a skin expander and cartilage from his ribs. That transplant was successfully completed in September.