We’ve seen tissues and body parts grown in petri dishes before. Nothing new, right? Now we’ve seen a human being’s own body used as a petri dish to grow a body part for her own body!
Sherrie Walters, a woman from Baltimore, has become that human being/test subject for an extremely radical and extremely weird procedure. Plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgeon Patrick Byrne has been looking for someone like Sherri Walters for quite a while to basically test a theory he had.
The discovery of a rapidly-spreading basal cell cancer in her ear in 2008 required the removal of part of her ear, part of her skull and her left ear canal. But now, in a groundbreaking and complicated set of surgeries, Johns Hopkins doctors have attached a new ear made from Walters’ own tissue.
Byrne used cartilage from Walters’ ribs to stitch together a new ear matching her right ear. He then implanted it under the skin of her forearm, where it grew for months.
Byrne later surgically attached the ear and its blood vessels. Then surgery Tuesday added shape and detail to the ear.
Walters still has two minor surgeries to go before the whole bizarre procedure is over with and she gets that ‘new’ ear.
And she’s got some sage advice before you ever end up in this situation:
“And it’s a cliche but use the sunscreen and if you are not sure about something, get it checked because that’s what I didn’t do.”
Different parts grown in different places? Hmm.
Every single guy right now is probably thinking about a particular woman in Total Recall.
Knock it off.