For the first time, the US Army performed an ear reconstruction on one of its soldiers. A long and complex procedure that required culturing the new ear on the patient’s forearm from the cartilage of the patient’s ribs.
It is the third reconstruction of an ear by subcutaneous implantation on the forearm, in the world, but a first for the American army.
Shamika Burrage, 21, a soldier from Mississippi, lost her left ear in a car accident at the age of 19. On May 7th, plastic surgeons from the Army Medical Center William Beaumont managed to transplant the new ear, according to a statement.
Reconstruction of a 100% functional and innervated ear
In 2016, Shamika Burrage suffered a serious car accident while returning to Fort Bliss, where she was posted. In addition to the loss of his left ear, the accident nearly cost her her life. After several months of rehabilitation, she is reminded of her trauma by her appearance and is considering wearing a prosthesis.
However, the doctors from the Army Medical Center William Beaumont has something else in the plan. They took cartilage sample for Shamika’s ribs and managed to reconstruct the era on the soldier’s forearm.
The ear is 100% functional and innervated.
Another similar case was recorded in the United States in 2012
In 2012, Sherrie Walter, a 42-year-old American woman, gets a new ear transplant after losing her ear because of skin cancer. In addition to her ear, she loses a piece of her skull and facial skin, preventing her from attaching a prosthesis properly.
Just like Shamika Burrage, Sherrie got a new year thanks to the implantation on her forearm of cartilage taken from her ribs.
The second case in the world’s history took place in Belgium in 2015 on a 19-year-old Belgian patient who was under similar conditions to Sherrie Walter. The process was the same, only that, this time, doctors performed the ear reconstruction on the patient’s forearm based on a porous polyethylene mold implanted under the skin, instead of using ribs cartilages.