A 22-year-old man in China needed a new nose. So a surgeon has built him one ... on his forehead. The surgeon, Guo Zhihui from Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, constructed the second nose out of cartilage from the man's ribs, then put it under the skin on his forehead ahead of an upcoming transplant to its rightful position in the middle of his face, the AP reports. Guo and his team spent three months expanding the forehead skin so it could fit the new nose cartilage; they build the nose's bridge first, then the nostrils. "We sculpted the nose three-dimensionally, like carpenters," he says. The entire process took nine months.
According to Reuters, the man—identified only as Xiaolian—damaged his original nose in a traffic accident, and an infection eroded its cartilage. The striking image of Xiaolian's second nose has spread around the world. The surgeons will eventually cut it off his forehead with the skin still attached, then rotate it and graft it onto his face, the AP reports. "We were just interested in helping the man and did not expect it would stir up this much attention," says Guo.