Kieran Sorkin, a nine-year-old boy from Hertfordshire, UK, who was born without ears, has had a pair created from his ribs.
Kieran Sorkin had the surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
His condition is known as microtia.
Kieran Sorkin was born deaf with small lobes where his ears should be. He can already hear, thanks to previous surgery to implant a hearing aid.
“I want people to stop asking me questions,” he said.
“I’d like just to look like my friends.
“I’d also like to be able to wear sunglasses and earphones.”
Kieran’s mother, Louise Sorkin said: “He’s a very sociable boy and has longed for this operation for years.
“I don’t want children bullying him because he’s different. I just want him to be accepted like everyone else.”
On the morning of the operation, consultant plastic surgeon Neil Bulstrode stencils the shape of Louise Sorkin’s ears.
He said: “When a patient has one ear we can match the new ear to that. Fortunately Kieran’s mum has very pretty ears so that should work well.”
The surgical team remove cartilage from six of his ribs. It is cut, shaped and sewn.
These frameworks are inserted in pockets in the skin and then using suction, they take on the shape of an ear on both sides.
Great Ormond Street Hospital does about 40 of these operations each year, although most of those are to create one missing ear.
The surgery is cosmetic, not to improve hearing. Dr. Neil Bulstrode said it brings huge psychological benefits.
Last year, US scientists implanted a human-like ear, grown from cow and sheep cells, onto a rat.
However, such research is still at its early stages, and for the foreseeable future children needing new ears will benefit from the same procedure used at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Three days after surgery, Kieran Sorkin was given a mirror to look at his new ears.
Kieran Sorkin will need a second operation in six months to make his ears stand out from the scalp more, but he’s already delighted with the result.
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