Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Army Hospital Surgery Done with Ear 'Grown' in Soldier's Arm

The ear has been created from a cartilage which was harvested from her ribs The ear has been created from a cartilage which was harvested from her ribs
Anna Jefferson | 10 May, 2018, 18:46

Surgeons at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center crafted Burrage's new ear using cartilage taken from her rib cage.

"She was 19 and healthy and had her whole life ahead of her", Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at William Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso, Texas where the surgery was performed said in a May 7 statement. Afterward, when she woke up in the hospital, she wasn't whole. The cartilage was shaped into an ear, and then inserted under the skin on the soldier's arm so that it will develop blood vessels.

Burrage was in Odessa, Texas, in 2016, driving back to Fort Bliss after a visit with her family in MS when a tire blew out.

'[The ear] will have fresh arteries fresh veins and even a fresh nerve so she'll be able to feel it, ' said Dr Johnson.

Private Shamika Burrage, 21, from MS, lost her ear in 2016 when a tire blew out in a auto she was traveling in, causing the vehicle to veer off the road and flip several times. She was driving back to her base in Texas from visiting family in MS and was traveling with her cousin who was eight months pregnant at the time. Her cousin who was with her in the auto had minor injuries, but she suffered head injuries, spine fractures, road rash, and lost her ear, CNN reports. "I just remember the first flip and that was it", said Burrage, who was ejected from the vehicle.

Doctors later told Burrage she would have bled to death if 30 more minutes had passed before she got medical attention. "I just remember the first flip and that was it", Pvt.

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'I didn't feel comfortable with the way I looked so the provider referred me to plastic surgery, ' Burrage said. "I was going to go with the prosthetic, to avoid more scarring but I wanted a real ear", said Burrage.

U.S. Army surgeons have grown a new ear on a female soldier's forearm in an extraordinary, first-of-its kind procedure. "As a young active-duty Soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get". Now known as the Vacanti Mouse, the critter was part of research studying how feasible it was to grow human ears made of cartilage.

But since her surgery, Burrage said that she's looking forward to what's to come. This technique will allow Burrage to have feeling in her ear once the rehabilitation process is complete.

However, "the idea of growing ears is not new to science or medicine", according to the Washington Post. In 2012, a woman lost her ear to cancer and grew a replacement under her forearm skin, ABC News reported. Burrage, a supply clerk with 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, still has two surgeries left to go, but she says she's optimistic.

"It's been a long process for everything, but I'm back", said Burrage, who has two more surgeries left.

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