A Chinese teenager continues to recover this week after successfully receiving a face transplant created using tissue from her chest.
Xu Jianmei, a 17-year-old girl from southeast China's Fujian Province, was disfigured 12 years ago in a terrible fire, according to reports. Although the severe burns destroyed her chin, eyelids and part of her right ear, the teen did not receive the appropriate treatment at the time because her family could not afford plastic surgery.
Last year, Xu got an amazing chance at a new life when doctors suggested growing skin on her chest to use in a face transplant.
The pioneering eight-hour operation, which used tissue grown on her breast, was carried out earlier this month by surgeon Jiang Chenhong in Fuzhow, capital city of Fujian province in southeast China. Xu woke up after the operation with a new chin, eyelids and an ear.
“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.
She is now able to smile for the first time in 12 years.
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, told Chinese state media.
Source: Various online sources