A woman whose exterior ear was removed during her fight with cancer has grown a replacement ear made from starter-tissue harvested from her rib, which was cultured and scaffolded on her arm. Once the ear was ripe, it was removed from her arm and affixed to the side of her head.
“I thought of this exact strategy many years before and really was looking for the right patient to try it on,” said renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Patrick Byrne.
Byrne used cartilage from Walters’ ribs to stitch together a new ear matching her right ear. He then implanted it under the skin of her forearm, where it grew for months.
..Byrne later surgically attached the ear and its blood vessels. Then surgery Tuesday added shape and detail to the ear.
(Image: Johns Hopkins)