9-year-old’s ear reconstructed

Nathan, a native of Seychelles, was born without the external portion of his right ear —Photo: R. Ragu  

For the first time, 9-year-old Nathan can wear sun glasses and listen to music on headphones, thanks to a reconstructive surgery at a city hospital.

Nathan, who is from Seychelles, was born without the external portion of his right ear, which made him an object of ridicule and affected his self-esteem.

“Although his hearing was not impaired, he was still facing a lot of stigma. Nathan was referred to Chennai by the Ministry of Health, Government of Seychelles to undergo a reconstructive surgery,” S.M. Balaji, Director, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, said.

The team at the hospital performed the reconstruction in two stages. The first stage — cartilage banking surgery — involved taking a costochondral graft from his rib, making a template as reference to create the structural framework of the ear and then placing it where his ear should have been, Dr. Balaji said.

Three months later, there was another surgery — ear lifting surgery — to lift the ear framework from the side of the head to give it a normal appearance. “The right ear was made a little larger than the left ear, since Nathan is young and his other ear will continue to grow. After a few years, his new ear can be remodelled to make sure that it looks like the left ear,” he said, adding such a complication occurs in one out of 4,000 children.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 3:04:35 AM |

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