In six months, 27-year-old woman Jin Qi is expected to have a nose and a mouth after losing them 25 years ago.
Jin underwent a surgery lasting more than 10 hours on Monday to have her missing facial organs reshaped in Shanghai.
Jin is scheduled to receive four surgeries to get a new nose and mouth, according to Li Qingfeng, team leader for her rehabilitation and reconstruction, from the Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to the School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Jin suffered a high fever and a rare sepsis at the age of one. Born in a remote village in Yunxi County, Shiyan City in central China's Hubei Province, Jin and her family did not have access to adequate medical information and service. Unfortunately Jin lost her nose, lips and the facial organization around them.
Monday's surgery aimed to expand the flap and correct maxillary deformities.
Li's team applied a concept and technology of “repairing” to cultivate nose and upper lip tissues on the patient's chest area for transplant.
Li's solution allows Jin to depend on herself instead of a face transplant from someone else, which was seen as a major breakthrough in the field.