Three women who have been left horrifically scarred in acid attacks and a gas explosion have undergone pioneering surgery to have their faces reconstructed.
Fatima Muneer, 45, and Niaz Bano, 53, both from Pakistan, were both doused with acid in unrelated attacks, leaving them scarred for life.
Cleaner Zahida Parveen, 24, was badly burned when a gas cylinder exploded in her kitchen, which left her needing reconstructive surgery.
All three women, from Karachi and its neighbouring areas, have undergone numerous operations to rebuild their faces – including having a rare eyebrow transplant procedure performed by a leading British surgeon.
Dr Asim Shahmalak, who lives in Manchester but travelled to Karachi to perform the procedures for free, said he was playing a ‘small part’ in surgeons ‘phenomenal’ efforts to help the women in the wake of their life-altering injuries, by repairing their eyebrows using hair transplanted from the scalp.
Grateful Niaz said her new brows felt like the ‘last stage of my efforts to rebuild my face’.
Niaz Bano, 53, from Pakistan, lost her left eye following an acid attack during a row over her 16-year-old daughter’s wedding. She is pictured here before receiving the eyebrow transplant
She has undergone eight operations so far to repair the damage, including a rare eyebrow transplant procedure. Niaz is pictured after receiving an eyebrow transplant on both eyebrows
Shopkeeper Niaz lost her left eye after a relative hurled acid at her disguised in a cup of tea during a row over her 16-year-old daughter’s wedding, and has since undergone eight operations so far in an effort to repair the damage.
Mother-of-two Fatima was doused in sulphuric acid during a family feud over money, which left her needing four reconstructive operations.
During the attack, she had lifted her arm in an attempt to protect herself and was left with deep scars all over her face, arm and upper body.
Cleaner Zahida, who was injured while cooking in her kitchen, was left needing four reconstructive surgeries in order to repair the damage to her face.
Fatima Muneer, 45, was doused with sulphuric acid during a family feud over money, leaving her with deep scars. She is pictured here before receiving the eyebrow transplant
She has undergone four reconstruction surgeries, including the pioneering eyebrow procedure which gave her a new left eyebrow (pictured after the procedure)
The women were given eyebrow transplants as part of their facial reconstructions by British surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak, who travels regularly to Pakistan to treat women who have been the victims of acid attacks.
He is one of only nine surgeons in the world qualified to carry out the eyebrow procedure.
Dr Shahmalak, who runs Crown Clinic in Manchester where he is best known for carrying out hair transplants on celebrities such as Calum Best, used hair taken from the scalp in order to rebuild the women’s eyebrows.
The father-of-two described how he ‘wept’ when he heard the stories of the acid attack victims, who he treated at a hospital in Karachi.
Cleaner Zahida Parveen, 24, was badly burned by a gas cylinder that exploded in her kitchen. She is pictured here before receiving the eyebrow transplant
She has undergone four operations to reconstruct her face. She is pictured here after undergoing a procedure on her left eyebrow
‘Fatima was incredibly brave and tried to protect herself as the attack took place,’ he said.
‘She was doused with a lot of powerful acid and her injuries went right up her arm and over her upper body.
‘Surgeons have done a phenomenal job performing grafts on her arm and returning her face to normality.’
He continued: ‘I played a small part by providing her with a new left eyebrow to replace hair lost on her brow in the attack.
British surgeon Asim Shahmalak is seen taking hair from Fatima’s scalp for the procedure
The doctor is pictured performing the pioneering procedure on Zahida’s left eyebrow
‘I took hair from the back of her head and replanted it in the gaps in her eyebrow.
‘This new transplanted hair will grow back in the same way as her head hair so she will need to trim it every now again when the eyebrow transplant beds in.
‘But in a few months the damaged brow will be completely repaired.’
Speaking about the recovery of Niaz, he added: ‘Niaz’s face has been transformed by the surgery. She has bounced back brilliantly from the attacks and now runs a successful grocery store [not far] from her home.
Niaz, pictured before she was attacked with acid, lost her left eye after a relative hurled acid at her disguised in a cup of tea
Fatima, pictured before the attack, had lifted her arm in an attempt to protect herself and was left her with deep scars all over her face, arm and upper body
Zahida, pictured as a little girl with her father, was left badly burned following the accident in her kitchen
‘I gave some symmetry to her face by performing transplants on both eyebrows. The new hair will grow back in her brows in the next few months and the bald patches will be gone.’
Following the procedure, Fatima said: ‘I cannot thank Dr Shahmalak enough. I’ve been very lucky to have been helped by such a wonderful team of surgeons and I am really getting back on my feet.
‘I love my new eyebrow and I cannot wait to see it grow back.’
Niaz, who had her eyebrows repaired using hair transplanted from her scalp, added: ‘I love my new brows and this feels like the last stage of my the efforts to rebuild my face.
Fatima has undergone four operations to reconstruct her face. She is pictured here before receiving the eyebrow transplant
The mother-of-two was left with scarring on her arm, which she had lifted in a bid to protect her body
‘Thank you to Dr Shahmalak and the all the surgeons who have helped me.’
Dr Shahmalak, who lives with his doctor wife Rubina in Cheadle, Manchester, also provided Zahida with a new left eyebrow.
The trip to Karachi was the third time Dr Shahmalak has performed surgery for free on acid attacks victims.
He was introduced to the women by the Karachi-based charity Depilex Smileagain Foundation, whose founder Masarrat Misbah has worked tirelessly to help victims of acid attacks.
The charity not only finds surgeons like Dr Shahmalak to perform surgery for free, but also helps to secure jobs for the women afterwards
Dr Shahmalak used hair taken from the scalp in order to rebuild the eyebrows. He is seen extracting donor hair from the back of the scalp
The surgeon, who lives in Manchester, regularly travels to Pakistan to help treat victims of acid attacks
Dr Shahmalak, pictured with his team, runs Crown Clinic in Manchester where he is best known for carrying out hair transplants on celebrities such as Calum Best