Army Doctors Grew A completely new Ear Transplant Inside A Soldier’s Forearm

inside the total ear reconstruction, plastic surgeons at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, used cartilage via the woman’s ribs to create the ear in addition to placed in which under the skin of her forearm so in which could form blood vessels.

The 21-year-old patient will be currently on the road to recovery, according to a statement via the hospital.

Two years ago, Private Shamika Burrage nearly died after being ejected via her vehicle during a car crash. Burrage, then 19, was driving back with her cousin to Fort Bliss, Texas, via her native Mississippi when a front tire blew out.

the auto skidded 700 feet in addition to flipped multiple times before Burrage flew out of the auto. Her cousin, eight months pregnant at the time, only suffered minor injuries — although Burrage had compression fractures in her spine, road rash, in addition to head injuries. According to her doctors, if she had gone 30 more minutes without medical attention, she could’ve died via blood loss.

“I was on the ground, I just looked up in addition to [her cousin] was right there. Then I remember people walking up to us, asking if we were okay in addition to then I blacked out,” Burrage said inside the statement. When she woke up inside the hospital, her entire left ear was gone.

Initially, Burrage wanted to get a prosthetic ear to avoid more scarring in addition to was hesitant because the reconstruction could involve more surgeries in addition to recovery time. “I was just scared at first although wanted to see what he could do.”

“The whole goal will be by the time she’s done with all in which, in which looks Great, in which’s sensate, in addition to in several years if somebody doesn’t know her they won’t notice. […] As a young active-duty soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get.” Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, chief of plastic in addition to reconstructive surgery at William Beaumont, said inside the statement.

The surgeons carved the completely new ear out of cartilage harvested via her ribs, then opened a flap of skin on the forearm. They placed the cartilage inside so completely new blood vessels could form inside the cartilage, which will be necessary for a successful transplant.

“[The ear] will have fresh arteries, fresh veins, in addition to even a fresh nerve so she’ll be able to feel in which,” said Johnson. The skin flap via her forearm will also cover some of the scar tissue around Burrage’s jawline in addition to ear via the accident.

After the transplant, Burrage regained hearing in her left ear in addition to only needs two more surgeries until the reconstruction will be finished.

Although the transplant was intended to replace her external ear, which plays a relatively smaller role in hearing compared with the inner ear, the treatment did help her regain the ability to hear sound.

The surgeons were able to open Burrage’s ear canal during the transplant, which had closed due to the trauma via the auto accident. With her hearing back in addition to only two surgeries to go, Burrage said she will be feeling optimistic about her recovery. “in which’s been a long process for everything, although I’m back,” she said.

Burrage works as a supply clerk with 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

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