US soldier has new ear grown in her arm

Doctors have transplanted a new ear on to a soldier after growing it in her arm.

Private Shamika Burrage, 21, lost her left ear after suffering head injuries in a car crash in 2016.

After being grown on her forearm the new ear was transplanted by plastic surgeons at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

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Cartilage was taken from her rib and shaped into a new ear.

It was then put in her forearm so it could grow new blood vessels and develop feeling.

The soldier said: "I didn’t want to do it but gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that it could be a good thing.

"I was going to go with the prosthetic, to avoid more scarring but I wanted a real ear. I was just scared at first but wanted to see what he could do."

Lt Col Owen Johnson III, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the army medical centre, said: "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."

The process of growing an ear in the forearm was pioneered at Johns Hopkins University and first carried out in 2012.

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