Xiao Yan, a 23-year-old Chinese woman, had the hard luck to be born with a birthmark that’s covering half of her face. Doctors recommended her to opt for an unusual but common treatment in such cases, as soon as possible, as they think the birthmark may eventually lead to cancer.
The first stage of the intervention cost Xiao 100,000 Yuan
Xiao Yan was born in a poor family from the province of Guizhou, China, but managed to raise 100,000 Yuan to cover for the first stage of the medical intervention.
The procedure involved implantation of four balloons under the skin of Xiao’s face. The balloons are weekly filled with some more fluid by the doctors.
The idea behind this procedure is that after the removal of the birthmark, Xiao will need skin grafts to repair the removed tissues. In the meantime, Xiao Yan lives a normal life even if her head form is now drawing people’s attention and laughs even more than her birthmark ever did. However, the Chinese on social networks applause her courage and support her as she heads towards the second part of the medical procedure which is scheduled for June.
The shape of her head made people call her ‘Gourd Doll’.
The ‘balloons procedure’ is common in cases such as Xiao’s
This kind of procedure that involves balloons implantation under the face’s skin is rare but not unique.
In 2011, a similar case was successfully resolved. A 5-year old boy who had a big birthmark on his forehead forced the doctors to implant two horns-looking balloon to stretch his skin before the intervention for removing the mark. The intervention was a success.
Later, in April 2016, a South-Dakota woman, mother of two, had to live for a period of time with two balloons implanted under her face’s skin to get her prepared for an intervention for arterial venous malformations removal.