Disfigured teen gets face transplant -- where new face is grown on her chest

13 March 2015 / 1 year 7 months ago

A teenager who suffered horrific burns to her face has received a plastic surgery reconstruction face transplant with her new face grown on her breast using tissue grafted from her leg.

Xu Jianmei, 17, was just five when she was burnt in a fire, resulting in massive scarring on her face as well as the loss of her chin, eyelids and part of her right ear.

According to Plastytalk, she was not able to receive treatment during the optimum time due to the fact that her family was not able to afford the cost of the treatment.

The BBC reports that her face was rebuilt by a professional team from Fujian province using a blood vessel from her leg and a water filled balloon to expand her skin.

“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,” Jiang told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

BBC Beijing correspondent Celia Hatton says the surgery is ground-breaking in China’s medical world, where the development of cutting-edge medical technology is a state priority, and marks a first step in this 17-year-old’s medical care.

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”, said Jiang,” but it may take a long time.”

Photos 1 to 11 show Xu Jianmei, while the rest show other plastic surgery transformations.

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