Surgeons grew soldier’s new ear on her arm 

A soldier wounded in a single-car accident has undergone a transplant involving an ear grown on her arm.

The particular means of ear reconstruction was an Army first.

In the initial stages of the procedure, tissue was taken from the soldier’s ribs, carved to the desired shape, then placed beneath her forearm skin so it could grow.

“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,” Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, the chief plastic surgeon at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, said. “As a young active-duty Soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get.” 

Two more surgeries are required before the transplant is considered complete, but Pvt. Shamika Burrage, the 21-year-old patient, has already experienced improvements in her hearing and general outlook. 

“It’s been a long process for everything, but I’m back,” Burrage commented.

RELATED: Ear transplanted from patient's arm to his head

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Ear transplanted from patient's arm to his head
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Ear transplanted from patient's arm to his head

An "ear" is seen growing on the arm of a patient who lost his right ear in an accident, at the first affiliated hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, November 9, 2016. The growing "ear", which will be transplanted onto the patient's head in a following surgery, was taken from the patient's rib cartilage, cut into the shape of a ear and placed under the skin flap of the arm.

(China Daily/via REUTERS)

Reporters take pictures of an "ear" growing on the arm of a patient who lost his right ear in an accident, at the first affiliated hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, November 9, 2016. The growing "ear", which will be transplanted onto the patient's head in a following surgery, was taken from the patient's rib cartilage, cut into the shape of a ear and placed under the skin flap of the arm.

(China Daily/via REUTERS)

An ear growing on a patient's arm is under surgery to be transplanted to the head of the patient, who lost the right ear in an accident, at the first affiliated hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China March 29, 2017. Picture taken March 29, 2017.

(China Daily via REUTERS)

An ear growing on a patient's arm is under surgery to be transplanted to the head of the patient, who lost the right ear in an accident, at the first affiliated hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China March 29, 2017. Picture taken March 29, 2017.

(China Daily via REUTERS)

An "ear" is seen growing on the arm of a patient who lost his right ear in an accident, at the first affiliated hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, November 9, 2016. The growing "ear", which will be transplanted onto the patient's head in a following surgery, was taken from the patient's rib cartilage, cut into the shape of a ear and placed under the skin flap of the arm.

(China Daily/via REUTERS)

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