A Chinese teenager with woeful burns has been given a new face after it was grown on her breast.
17-year-old, Xu Jianmei, was heinously disfigured in a fire when she was only five-years-old, and this tragedy left her face scared and blighted, and without an ear, eyelids, or a chin.
This week though she underwent a surgery in Fuzhou, a Chinese city in the Fujian province, which is located in the southeast of the country.
After the operation concluded, Ms Jianmei woke up to find that a chin, two eyelids, and her ear had returned to her face. However, the biggest plus to emerge from this surgery, according to Ms Jianmei, is that she is now able to produce a proper smile, something she hasn’t been able to do for a dozen years.
However, Ms Jianmei almost never had the operation. Her parents weren’t able to afford the expensive plastic surgery, which would have changed their daughter’s life immeasurably. But doctors soon insisted that they would actually carry out the experimental inaugural operation for free.Their plan was to take tissue from her chest, which would then be used to reconstruct her face.
Firstly, the transplant saw the small team take a blood vessel from Ms Jianmei’s leg and then implant it her her chest. They then used a water-filled balloon to expand her skin until it was big enough to make a new face for the girl who hails from a small fishing village in the Chinese province.
New footage has since emerged of Ms Jianmei after the surgery. Despite the fact that she is obviously bloated, incredibly swollen, and unconscious, it’s plainly obvious that her skin is now smoother, and doesn’t posses the scars and uneven mess of its predecessor.
Jiang Chenhong, the surgeon who undertook the surgery, commented, “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.”
He then explained the operation, stating, “First, we took a piece of blood vessel fascia from 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.”
10 similar surgeries have been performed in China, with a car accident survivor even having a new nose grown on his forehead. You can check out an image of Xu Jianmeng, after her surgery, below: