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Woman grows new nose on her arm after battling cancer

Woman grows new nose on her arm after battling cancer

Medics were able to transplant the new nose onto her face

A woman in France who lost her nose after being diagnosed with cancer was able to grow a new one for transplant on her arm.

The woman, who has been identified only as Carine, had to have part of her nose removed in 2013 due to sinus cancer.

Following the surgery, Carine felt too self-conscious to leave the house and lost her sense of smell.

But in an impressive feat of medical science, medics were able to create a custom-made nose using 3D-printed biomaterial - in place of cartilage - and kept it on ice until the technology was advanced enough to transplant it onto the patient.

Last year, the prosthesis was implanted under Carine’s skin in her arm, so that cells and blood vessels could grow into the device over a two-month period.

Once this stage was complete, the new nose was implanted onto her face with the blood vessel attached to her temples. To repair the part of the arm where the nose had been grown, surgeons performed a skin-graft with skin from her thigh. Incredible, eh?

CHU de Toulouse/Facebook

The ground-breaking operation was carried out between members of the ear, nose and throat and cervico-facial surgery teams at the Toulouse University Hospital, and the Claudius Regaud Institute, and took place at the Toulouse-Oncopole University Cancer Institute.

Medics said: “After 10 days of hospitalisation and three weeks of antibiotics, the patient is doing very well."

Professor Agnès Dupret-Bories , surgeon ENT at the IUCT-Oncopole explained to 20 Minutes: “It's like a support that gives shape. The skin lives around, the tissues go inside the biomaterial, which is filled by the cells of the patient's body. The custom-made 3D printed biomaterial was put under the skin of the forearm so that it could be colonised and she kept it there for two months.”

CHU de Toulouse/Facebook

Fifty-year-old Carine will still need to undergo some additional operations to touch up her nose as well as dental reconstruction, but she’s already very thankful to the medics who made it possible.

Just 10 days after undergoing the operation, Carine told 20 Minutes she can breathe ‘a little better’.

She said: “I also find the smells of my garden, I can go out, I come back to life.

“It's miraculous, this biomaterial was my last resort and I salute the research and the work of the doctors who helped me to hold on.

“I stayed shut inside my home for these past eight years. When you are sick, you isolate yourself and the face is what you see first.”

Featured Image Credit: CHU de Toulouse / Facebook

Topics: Science, World News