Medicine

Surgeons replace soldiers ear with one they grew on her forearm

Surgeons replace soldiers ear with one they grew on her forearm

"The whole goal is by the time she's done with all this, it looks good, it's sensate, and in five years if somebody doesn't know her they won't notice", WBAMC chief plastic surgeon Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III said in an Army press release. Her auto slid some 700 feet, then flipped over a few times before Burrage was thrown out of the vehicle.

Surgeons at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) were able to craft the new ear for Pvt.

Army surgeons in Texas successfully transplanted a new ear on a soldier that they grew on her forearm, the military announced in a statement.

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.

"We were driving and my front tire blew, which sent the auto off road and I hit the brake", she said. She is a supply clerk with 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Army doctors, however, were able to give her a new ear by shaping cartilage taken from her rib cage and growing the organ in her arm.

Epidermis from Burrage's forearm will be used to cover scar tissue in the area around her left jawline, the statement said. The soldier said that she did not feel comfortable with the way she looked, so she was referred to plastic surgery. In that case, a woman named Sherrie Walter spent four months with an ear implanted in her forearm so skin could grow around it.

Burrage was thrown from the vehicle, bashing her head against the pavement and fracturing her spine in several places.

In 2016, Burrage and her cousin were driving back to her post in Texas from a visit to family in MS when one of the car's tires blew out.

"I was on the ground, I just looked up and (her cousin) was right there", Burrage said.

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'I just remember the first flip and that was it, ' Burrage told Army.mil.

Had she received medical assistance 30 minutes later than she did, doctors said she would have bled to death.

For Burrage, she may have both her ears, but her recovery is not yet over.

"I didn't want to do (the reconstruction) but gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that it could be a good thing".

This accident was nearly fatal for Burrage; doctors said if the paramedics would have come thirty minutes later than they did, she would not have made it.

"As a young active-duty Soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get", he said.

"I didn't lose any hearing and (Johnson) opened the canal back up", said Burrage, whose left ear canal had closed up due to the severity of the trauma.

Burrage was shocked when she was given the option of growing an ear on her arm for a transplant surgery, but she agreed to it because she wanted a real ear and not a prosthetic one.


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