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Beauty and Skin

Doctor grows new face for woman with tissue from her own breast

A teenage girl who suffered horrendous burns as a child has been given a new face grown from one of her own breasts.

Xu Jianmei, 17, who was horrifically disfigured by a fire when she was 5, is 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.

Click for more from news.com.au.