A plastic surgeon in China has successfully grown an artificial ear on a man’s arm in a pioneering medical procedure. The patient, Ji, lost his right ear in an accident and yearned to have it back.
Doctor Guo Shuzhong from a hospital in Xi’an, China, used Mr Ji’s cartilage from his ribs to build the new ear; and he expects to transplanted the organ to his head in about four months.
First a skin expander was implanted under Mr Ji’s right forearm. Next, cartilage was taken from his ribs in order to create the artificial ear, which was then planted in his forearm. .
Doctor Guo said this was the most difficult part of the surgery with most complications. The final stage, to be carried out in the coming months, will involve the fully grown ear being removed from the patient’s forearm and attaching it to his head using vascular anastomosis techniques.