Beijing: An artificial ear grown on a man’s arm for three months has been successfully transplanted onto his head. The man, whose surname was given as Ji, underwent the procedure on Wednesday.
He lost his right ear in a traffic accident in north China’s Shanxi Province last year. To help him restore his hearing, plastic surgeon Guo Shuzhong who works at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in the neighbouring Shaanxi Province planted an artificial ear on his arm.
“The accident not only took his ear, but also destroyed most of the blood vessels and skin around the ear. Therefore, conventional artificial ears cannot work for him. We decided to grow a new ear on his arm in advance,” said Guo.
To grow an artificial ear, doctor Guo and his team first stretched Ji’s skin on his arm with a skin expander. Then they took a piece of cartilage from one side of his chest to carve out a new ear before planting the artificial organ on the patient’s forearm.
With the artificial ear fully grown, doctors successfully transplanted it from Ji’s arm to his head using vascular anastomosis techniques on Wednesday. The operation took seven hours. He is expected to recover and leave the hospital in two weeks, reports ToI.