Israeli doctors from a hospital in the north in a rare procedure surgically construct an ear for a child born with a medical deformity.
Staff from the plastic surgery department at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya attached the ear to the six-year-old boy born with microtia, a deformity that stops the development of a baby's ear in the early stages of its development in the womb.
During the surgery, which lasted three hours, a synthetic prosthesis which resembles an cartilage, was attached onto the child's right ear.
The prosthesis, printed on a 3D printer, provided a base structure for the ear which was then covered by skin taken from the area near the ear.
The surgery was successful, which brought the parents of the boy to tears as they saw their child's restored ear for the first time.
Despite the aesthetic reconstruction of the ear, the patient's hearing abilities were not improved since microtia causes blockage of the ear canal that is unfixable through surgery.
Following the procedure, the child had stayed in the hospital for recovery and was released after several days.
The procedure was carried out by a team led by Dr. Amin Abu-Jabal. "There are two main methods for carrying out a surgery of this sort," Dr. Abu-Jabal told Ynet.
"The method we chose has many advantages, like maximal accuracy and aesthetic in the highest level. This method also reduces pain and complications that could be caused in the area from which the cartilage is extracted."
The hospital's head of the plastic surgery department, Dr. Leonid Kogan, also praised the team for the successful procedure.
"This is a surgery for aesthetic correction. It's recommended to do it at a young age, so that the patient won't have psychological effects. Still so, the surgery is not recommended prior to the age of six, when the ear reaches about 85% size of its full capacity."