I have seen a few articles now reporting that a Chinese doctor has actually grown a second nose on his patient's forehead:

While many of these can be considered "reputable" news sources, there have been times they've gotten it really wrong. I'm curious if there has even been an research or verified successes done in this area that actually support these claims.

  • 2
    Hint: if you value your sanity, do not, I repeat, do not google for pictures of “teratoma”. But that’s it: tumours that grow (incomplete) organs. Like hair. Or teeth. Or eyes. Or indeed noses. Oct 9, 2013 at 22:02
  • @KonradRudolph What about brains?
    – JAB
    Sep 21, 2017 at 17:33
  • @JAB Not brains. Too specifically controlled during embryo development. Though, who knows? Sep 22, 2017 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


From National Geographic:

It's called prelamination: Tissue that's going to be used to rebuild an area is constructed in multiple layers.

Take the nose, for example. If the damage from disease or injury goes all the way through, then all three layers must be replaced: the skin on the outside, the cartilage, and the soft lining inside. The forehead skin tends to be the best match for the outside skin from an area called the paramedian forehead flap...

It's not "grown" on the forehead, but rather, "constructed". While the nose is being constructed on the forehead, it does not get connected to the normal air passages. After the nose is constructed, it is moved to its final destination where a nose normally would go, and connected with the normal air passages.

This technique also been performed using the forearm (Sinha et al. 2008) (includes pictures of the procedure). They also say that "a forehead flap, traditionally, has been the workhorse of such reconstructions and can provide excellent nasal reconstruction", but that "an adherent forehead scar precluded the use of a forehead flap".

The standard technique (using the forehead) is described in (Menick 2008, at p. 329).


Menick, Frederick J. Nasal reconstruction: art and practice. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008.

Sinha, M., J. R. Scott, and S. B. Watson. "Prelaminated free radial forearm flap for a total nasal reconstruction." Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery 61, no. 8 (2008): 953-957.

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