A young British boy has been given a new ear thanks to doctors who grafted cartilage from his rib cage to carve a replacement. Sean Wingrove-Smith from Walderslade, England, was born with a rare genetic disorder known as Goldenhar Syndrome.
The condition stops babies’ ears, lips, mouth, or nose from developing properly, it can even scoliosis or hearing loss. As a result Sean was born with part of his right ear missing, and deaf in the same ear.
To replace the ear, doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, took cartilage from Sean’s rib cage and carved it into the shape of an ear. The cartilage was then grafted on to the remaining part of ear and the side of his head using skin from his scalp.
The operation took one year to heal completely, and although Sean’s is still deaf in his right ear, his is able to wear glasses for the first time.
The new organ does not feel the same as an actual ear, it’s harder because of the cartilage, but it has helped boost his confidence according to his parents.
Goldenhar Syndrome is a rare condition first described in 1952 by Dr. Maurice Goldenhar. Unfortunately it exact cause remains unknown.