For nine months, a man in China Fujian province has had a nose growing on his forehead that is soon to be transplanted.
In August 2012, 22-year old Xiaolian was in a terrible car accident. In the accident Xiaolian suffered severe nasal trauma. After forgoing medical treatment, the man’s nose was so damaged and infected that surgeons could not repair the nose under current conditions.
Without the ability to surgically operate, the idea to graft a new nose onto Xiaolian’s forehead was the next attempt at treatment and saving Xiaolian from a lifetime of facial disfigurement.
For nine months, the nose has been growing on the upper portion of Xiaolian’s forehead. Surgeons applied a newer technique called flap prefabrication to come up with the new nose. The substitute nose grows by attaching a skin and tissue expander onto the man’s forehead. Once the expander is placed, then the tissue is cute into the shape and likeness of Xiaolian’s old nose. Bones taken from Xiaolian’s ribcage are being used as cartilage to beef up the nose’s shape.
Doctors say the recreated nose is in good shape and will be scheduling the transplant shortly. Currently, the surgeons are waiting for the blood supply to grow in properly. During the transplant, the substitute nose will be repositioned off the man’s forehead to the current nose position.
This is not the first case of surgeons performing nose transplants under the flap prefabrication technique.
Recently another case occurred where a man who lost his nose to cancer had a new nose grown on his arm. The transplant was a success.
Xiaolian is excited about the upcoming transplant and has been told by physicians that once the nose growing on his forehead has been transplanted, the patient will be able to resume the sensation of smell.
Written by Lisa Graziano