Ear Grows out of Arm; Unprecedented Surgery.
In what appears to be a horrible mad science experience gone wrong (or right as the case may be) Sherrie Walter, cancer survivor and mother of two who lost her left ear to the disease two years ago will be getting a brand new one : which can be scene growing from her arm.
After being diagnosed with basal-cell carcinoma, a type of skin Cancer talk Radio KABC reported that Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore offered Walter a chance at a new ear -- a permanent one built from her own tissue.
CBS reports that traditional reconstructive ear surgeries employ a plastic prosthetic ear, but Walter's cancer surgery removed the necessary skull bone structure and stretchable skin from her face and neck required for such an operation.
The groundbreaking procedure, noted the anchor, described as one of the most complicated ear constructions in the U.S., involves removing cartilage from the rib cage to form a new ear, which is then placed under the skin of the forearm to grow.
The cartilage then grew a layer of blood vessels, cells and nerves around it, which were transplanted onto Sherrie Walter's head. "It was under my arm for about four months," Walter told KABC radio. "I just thought I was something from science fiction."
According to The Baltimore Sun. Doctors performed the final surgery of the 20-month process on Tuesday Byrne carved off cartilage to create a canal and stretched skin to shape an earlobe.
Now described as one of the most intricate ear reconstruction in the continent's history, scientists have confidence that this breakthrough procedure will provide many others with the oppurtunity to regain lost appendages and missed parts.