Surgeons at a hospital in China will transplant a new nose being grown on a patient’s forehead to replace the original he lost in an automobile accident. The patient, named Xiaolian, suffered the severe nasal trauma in a serious mishap last year.

For months after doctors were unable to begin reconstruction due to complications, then infection. However, surgeons came up with an idea of growing a nose on Xiaolian’s forehead, a medical practice never before tried anywhere in the world.

The way is to grow the nose by first placing a skin tissue expander onto Xiaolian’s forehead, then cutting it into the shape of a nose and transplanting cartilage taken from his ribs.

Surgeons say they hope to perform the final transplant before the end of the year. Once complete, they say, Xiaolian should be able to live a normal life, with a small scar on his forehead the only sign of his ordeal.