A team of doctors at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University are attempting to give an accident victim a new ear using skin and cartilage from other parts of the patient’s body. Dr. Guo Shuzhong, the lead surgery specialist on the project, recently completed the second of the three phases involved in this ear replacement. Phase I consisted of collecting cartilage from the patient’s rib cage and forming it into the shape of an ear.
Between phase I and phase II, the surgery team implanted a skin expander under part of the patient’s forearm and injected it with water to begin the expansion process. Phase II saw the implantation of the cartilage underneath the newly expanded skin. According to China Daily, the patient said that the new ear “looks exactly the same as my old ear.” Doctors expect to attach the ear to the patient’s head in the first quarter of 2017.