Encouraged by the first successful face transplant in France, a military hospital in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, hopes to follow suit and is seeking volunteers for a similar operation.
"After the scalp transplant in 2003, a face transplant is technically practical," said Hong Zhijian, plastic surgeon with Nanjing Military Command Nanjing General Hospital, referring to an operation done in Nanjing two years ago.
Jinling Hospital transplanted the ears and part of a scalp to a 72-year-old woman who suffered from skin cancer in 2003. The operation proved to be successful, Hong said earlier this week.
Surgeons in France in November this year carried out the world's first face transplant on a 38-year-old French woman whose lips and nose were ripped off in a dog attack.
Hong said only people under the age of 45 with deformity caused by serious burns on the face and head would be considered. The patient must be well-off as he or she would need to take anti-rejection drugs for the remainder of his or her life.
Two men out of 40 people volunteers are qualified, Hong said. All qualified volunteers will undergo a physical check-up and psychological assessment, and only one will receive a face transplant operation.