Watch the moment man has ‘elephant’s trunk’ nose reconstructed after cancer ravaged his face

A MAN has shared his incredible transformation after having his ‘elephant nose’ – which was ravaged by cancer – reconstructed.

Peter, 74, almost lost his nose to cancer, which first appeared as a small blemish on his nose.

Peter,74, lost part of his nose to skin cancerCredit: Dragonfly Film and Television Lt
He underwent complex surgeries to reconstruct it, the first using a flap skin from his foreheadCredit: Dragonfly Film and Television Lt
Peter was delighted’ after surgeons reconstructed his ‘elephant’s trunk’Credit: Dragonfly Film and Television Lt

He underwent a complex, multiple-phase surgery to reconstruct his nose at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The first phase involved using a flap of skin from Peter’s forehead, which surgeons turned down and laid along his nose to cover the parts he’d lost to skin cancer.

This left the 74-year-old with what he cheerfully likened to an “elephant’s trunk”.

“It’s a bit smaller than an elephant’s trunk, but it does look bizarre,” Peter said.

During the second phase, surgeons sought to make Peter’s ‘trunk’ look “a bit more like a nose”, documented in a brand new series called The Face Doctors.

Airing on Really on Wednesdays, and available on discovery+, it follows patients undergoing life-changing surgery and cutting-edge treatment to rebuild their faces.

The first episode documenting Peter’s transformation airs tonight (May 15) at 9pm.

Before appearing on the show, Peter underwent extensive surgery to remove skin cancer on his nose.

Though the procedures were effective in combating it, they left his nose altered.

This took a toll on the usually outgoing 74-year-old’s self-confidence and self-image.

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Peter’s son Tony reflected on the change in his father, saying: “I think I’ve seen him a little bit more self-conscious, so he’s been doing lots of things at home as opposed to socialising and mixing outside the home.”

Meanwhile, Peter said he was in the habit of wearing a cap when he went out and pulling it down over his face.

“People are used to seeing people with plaster casts on limbs, but facial surgery is probably a little bit different, it’s fairly obvious that you’ve had something done, and you don’t look normal for a while,” he noted.

Consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Ahid Abood explained the first phase of Peter’s treatment at Addenbrooke’s.

“Peter had quite a large skin cancer removed from his nose and one way that can be reconstructed is using tissue from the forehead that’s turned down to cover the bit that’s missing, and it maintains a blood supply from the forehead until such point that it picks up a new blood supply from the nose.”

With this first leg of the journey going smoothly, Dr Abood and his team moved onto reconstructing Peter’s ‘trunk’ five weeks later.

“There’s an intervening tube of skin that runs from his forehead to his nose, now that the tip has picked up the blood supply from the nose I’ll be removing the middle segment and contour it to look more like his nose should,” Dr Abood explained ahead of the procedure.

Medical miracles

READ more about incredible procedures and medical marvels:

Video from the operating table shows the surgeon making repeated incisions to the ‘trunk’ to trim off excess skin and make it look more like a nose.

The first thing Peter did when he came round from the anaesthetic was to ask for a mirror.

“I was taken aback as to how clean it was all looking!” he said, giving the team a thumbs up.

Six weeks after the life-changing surgery to rebuild his nose, Peter returned to Addenbrooke’s for a check-up with a spring in his step.

Joking that he was “no oil painting before”, the 74-year-old seems back to his outgoing self and his joy is palpable.

Peter was left with an odd side effect following his surgery, as hair began sprouting out of his newly reconstructed nose – it was made out of his scalp after all.

“Ironically, the hair that comes through there is much darker than the hair on most of my head!” Peter laughed.

“It’s a cruel twist!”

But he told Dr Abood: “I’m delighted with it, and it works. I can sniff, I can blow.

“The way I’m looking now exceeds my expectations if I’m to be honest. I am in total awe of what you’ve achieved.”

Peter also took the opportunity to remind people to wear plenty of sun cream to protect themselves from skin cancer.

He confessed to slathering on so much now he looked like “an Australian cricketer”.

Peter reading on his hospital bed before his surgeryCredit: Dragonfly Film and Television Lt
He said the results of his surgery exceeded his expectationsCredit: It’s Really Wednesday


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