Boy With Face Disfigured by Pneumonia got Chance to Live a Normal Life
Medical advancements have taken surprising turns in just a few short years. Doctors are now able to grow new body parts for people using molds, the patient’s own skin, and stem cells. People who have been disfigured now have another chance to lead a normal life.
A Tragic Disfigurement
Arun Patel of India had contracted pneumonia as a baby. As a result, his nose was severely damaged. The pneumonia damaged his soft nasal tissues and had destroyed the cartilage in the tip of his nose. When he was 12 years old, a team of amazing doctors in Indore city helped Arun by growing him a replacement nose- on his forehead. The nose was then removed and placed where it belonged on Arun’s face.
How Did Doctors Grow a Nose?
This surgery is rare, and it involves four phases of treatment. It was not a swift undertaking- this particular procedure took close to a year to complete. First, Arun’s forehead was expanded to create room for the new nose to grow. Then, cartilage was removed from his chest and shaped into the new nose, and then it was placed on his forehead where it grew for three months. When the nose was finished, it was removed from his forehead and transplanted onto his face. His forehead was repaired as well.
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Arun was left with some scarring on his face, but his nose is no longer deformed. His new nose is well-shaped, and it is well-placed on his face. Because Arun came from a poor background, the generous doctors were happy to take care of his medical costs. Arun reports that he is very happy with his new appearance. He says that other children used to be afraid of him and would tease him. Now he feels more confident at school, and instead of looking down while he walks, he holds his head high. This is one of the cases of people getting back to normal life after years of pain.
This is not the first time that this surgery has been performed. In 2013, a man in China lost his nose in a car accident and underwent the same procedure with good results. While patients of these operations report some psychological difficulty in seeing organs growing beneath their skin, they are often happy with the results. Stelarc, an Australian performance artist, worked with doctors to have an ear grafted onto his arm.
The Stuff of Science Fiction
These cell-generated organs begin as glass molds that are sprayed with materials for cells to attach to. The glass is removed, and the material left is coated with millions of stem cells that grow into a specific organ.
While this is happening, the patient’s skin is gradually stretched using spacers or balloons beneath the skin. Once the skin is loose enough, it is cut off and stretched over the metal and/or cartilage frame covered in stem cells. The skin is and sewed back onto the body with the frame beneath it, and the intended body part begins to grow.
This delicate process is like a miracle for people who have been ashamed of disfigurements that they cannot control. Arun now has a functioning nose to be proud of.