Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Army doctors 'grew' new ear for soldier in her forearm

Army doctors 'grew' new ear for soldier in her forearm

Pvt. Shamika Burrage, who hails from MS, is a supply clerk with 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

After a series of surgeries, with two more to go, Burrage's hearing has been restored and the procedure has been deemed a success.

A groundbreaking total ear reconstruction, which saw a new ear grown on a soldier's arm to replace one lost in an accident, has been successfully carried out by the USA military.

Thankfully, Burrage survived the accident, but as a young 19-year-old woman, suffered emotional hardships due to her new appearance.

Burrage sustained compression fractures in her spine, road rash, and a missing left ear. In 2016, Burrage had been driving from MS to Texas when the front tires of her vehicle blew out, causing the auto to skid and flip. Doctors there successfully stitched together a new ear for Sherrie Walters, grew it under the skin of her forearm, and later surgically attached the ear and its blood vessels.

" The entire objective is by the time she's made with all this, it looks great, it's sensate, and also in 5 years if someone does not recognize her they will not discover", Lt. Col. Owen Johnson 3rd, the principal of plastic as well as plastic surgery at the clinical facility was priced estimate as stating in the declaration. "I just remember the first flip and that was it". Her auto skidded and flipped several times, according to the army's statement.

"I was on the ground, I just looked up and [her cousin] was right there", she said in the statement. Nearly two years after her accident, plastic surgeons at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center have given the now 21-year-old a new ear that was grown from her own cartilage and tissue.

"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", she explains.

The surgeon elected for a prelaminated forearm free flap, which "involved placing the autologous cartilage into the patient's forearm to allow for neovascularization", according to the blog post.

The resulting ear "will have fresh arteries fresh veins and even a fresh nerve so she'll be able to feel it", Johnson said, the US Army reports.

Doctors later told her that if she hadn't received medical attention after 30 more minutes, she would have bled to death.

"I was mosting likely to select the prosthetic, to stay clear of even more scarring yet I desired a genuine ear", Burrage stated. This will enable her to having feeling in her ear once the rehabilitation process is complete.

"It's been a long process for everything, but I'm back", she said.

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