Doctors in China have given a teenage girl who suffered horrific burns a new face after growing the tissue on her breast.
Xu Jianmei, 17, was only five years old when she sustained the disfiguring burns in a fire, reports the Xinhua news agency.
Jianmei's parents, who come from a small fishing village, did not have the money to pay for their daughter to undergo plastic surgery in order to fix the disfigurement.
Touched by her plight, doctors offered to perform a pioneering operation on the young girl for free.
A transplant team, led by surgeon Jiang Chenhong , decided their best course of action would be to give Jianmei a complete face transplant using tissue from her chest.
"First, we took a piece of blood vessel from her thigh and implanted it in her chest," Dr Chenhong explained.
"Then we inserted a skin expander beneath the part of the skin where the blood vessel was planted, so that the part could expand and produce enough skin for a new face," Dr Chenhong added.
After finally waking up from the mammoth but successful eight-hour-surgery, Jianmei said the best thing about her new face is that now she can smile properly for the first time in 12 years.
China has developed quite a track record for growing facial parts on odd parts of the body.
In September this year, doctors unveiled a man who'd had a nose grown on his forehead after a car crash left his original nose disfigured.
Source: The Daily Mail
Author: Natasha Lee, Approving editor: Nick Pearson