A forehead nose has to be one of the most bizarre and implausible stories circulating the Internet these days, but this is no phony baloney. A man in China is literally having a nose “grown” on his forehead – a reconstruction technique to replace his original nose that was damaged, reports LiveScience via Yahoo! News on Sept. 25.
After a severe car accident and a resulting infection, doctors were not able to surgically repair the man’s nose, so they opted to grow another nose, smack dab on the man’s forehead.
Dr. David Cangello, a plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan, Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in New York, said the procedure, while obviously cosmetically strange, is not that different from common reconstructive principles used by surgeons.
“I would call it a different take on principles that we commonly use in reconstruction,” Cangello said.
LiveScience explains the process:
“The man's doctors placed tissue expanders, which create space to stretch the skin, under the man's forehead, and created the rough shape of the nose, probably using screws and plates. They then harvested cartilage from his ribs to fill in the nose. Once the nose is ready, they will rotate the entire assemblage — skin, blood vessels, cartilage and all — and move the new nose to where his current nose sits.”
The nose is not functional of course; it is only the shell of the nose, but once it is moved into the correct position, it should be no different than any other nose, at least in appearance. The new nose will likely not function as well in terms of smell, since the original olfactory cells have been damaged.
Why grow the nose on the forehead?
LiveScience explains once again:
“The forehead is also enervated with blood vessels that nourish the tissue transplant, so the surgeons don't have to disconnect and reconnect those vessels to place the nose in its correct position. If the doctors were to grow the nose on a forearm or a leg, for instance, they would have to undertake a laborious microsurgery to take the blood vessels that feed and drain the transplant.”
“We like to use similar tissues to reconstruct organs within the same area,” Cangello said.
The man’s new nose would seem to be quite large, and Dr. Cangello agreed.
“To be honest, the little nose that he has almost looks more in harmony than what they have on his forehead,” Cangello said, but added that it will shrink once the new nose is in place.