A man identified only as "Xiaolian" suffered an injured nose in a car accident in August 2012 and an infection afterwards.
Apparently, his nose was irreparably damaged, so surgeons at a hospital in Fuzhou, Fujian, China decided to grow a new nose for Xiaolian on his forehead.
Small tissue expanding devices were placed under the skin and then cut to resemble a nose, notes Reuters.
When Xiaolian's nose is transplanted to his face, cartilage will be surgically removed from his ribs for use as added structure.
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“My guess would be that they felt that the tissue in the nose was so damaged they had to use the forehead skin on the interior part of the nose. It’ll be a real nose and [a] breathing passage way,” Dr. Patrick Byrne, of the Facial, Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, told ABC News.
Dr. Byrne believes the transplanted nose should work almost as well as the original nose, if the patient can avoid complications.
“He should be able to smell, the smell receptors are pretty high in the nose,” said Dr. Byrne, who predicts future surgeons will be able to do transplants for various parts of the body by grafting skin cells and growing replacements, but not on foreheads.