In a post-transplant footage, Xu Jianmei, 17, who had lost her face at the tender age of five, can be seen smiling for the first time in 12 years, the Mirror reported.
Surgeons grew Jianmei’s new face using a blood vessel from her leg and a water-filled balloon to expand her skin over the course of several months until it was big enough to cover her missing facial features.
Jianmei’s doctor, Jiang Chenhong, said that with the new face Jianmei will be able to express herself in a more precise way, and even blush when her emotions change, but it will take a long time.
Doctors had conducted a similar operation on another Chinese man by growing him a new nose on his forehead after he lost his original one in a car wreck.
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