Chinese doctors who grew a man a new ear on his forearm after a serious traffic accident have now transplanted the organ onto his head.
Leading plastic surgeon Dr Guo Shuzhong performed the complex surgery during a seven hour procedure this week.
He announced that blood was successfully flowing into patient Mr Ji’s new right ear, which had spent months growing on his arm.
Dr Guo, who works at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in the city of Xi’an, was assigned to the case in 2016.
According to reports, Mr Ji, whose age and first name are unknown, sustained serious injuries in the right side of his face in a traffic accident in 2015.
Following the injuries, the man received multiple surgical operations to restore his facial skin and his cheeks.
However, he felt frustrated about losing his right ear for good.
The patient previously told a report from China News: ‘I lost one ear. I have always felt that I am not complete.’
However, the damage was so severe that doctors were not able to regenerate his ear over the scar.
That is when Dr Guo decided to ‘plant’ an artificial ear on Mr Ji’s forearm – a procedure done in November last year.
The realistic ear, which was modelled with the help of 3D-printing technology, was made with cartilage from the patient’s ribs.
It was then attached to his forearm under a piece of expanded skin. There it was allowed to grow for several months until experts deemed it ready for the transplant.
Mr Ji will remain in hospital under observation for about two weeks until his new ear is fully functioning, at which point he will be allowed to go home.
According to Dr Guo, he and his team repeat the miracle procedure for about 500 children every year.
Dr Guo, a renowned plastic surgeon, conducted China’s first face transplant operation in 2006, according to China Daily.