Xu Jianmei new face

by umer | 5:48 AM in |

Xu Jianmei new face--A TEENAGE girl who suffered horrendous burns has been given a new face grown from one of her breasts.

Xu Jianmei, 17, who was horrifically disgured by the fire when she was five, has been able to smile properly for the first time in 12 years.

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 the southeast of China, BBC News reported.

Miss Xu woke up from the operation - which follows a similar operation to give a car accident victim a new nose by growing it first on his forehead - 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 told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Doctors believe that the wounds left by the surgery will heal over the next several weeks.

"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."

China's first donor face transplant recipient, farmer Li Guoxing, received his new face in 2006 - less than a year after the world's first successful face transplant recipient, Isabelle Dinoir, in France.

Mr Li died less than two years later after stopping his anti-rejection medication.

Since then 10 surgeries of this kind have been performed in China.