Patient in southern Turkey given new ears created from his mother’s rib cartilage
GAZİANTEPDoctors in the southern province of Gaziantep have created a new pair of ears, for a patient who was born missing external ears, from his mother’s rib cartilage, in first-of-a-kind reconstruction surgery, Doğan News Agency reported on May 22.
The 22-year-old Ümit Gül previously went through 11 unsuccessful surgeries, as doctors tried unsuccessfully to use his own rib cartilage. As a last resort, he visited the office of aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon Prof. Dr. Mehmet Mutaf, where Gül’s mother, Ayşe Gül, suggested that her own rib cartilage could be used to carve an ear framework.
As the reconstruction involved someone else’s tissue other than the patient, the surgery has been hailed as a first-of-a-kind in medical history. a condition known as “anatoia.”
The Turkish professor first transplanted Ayşe Gül’s ribs under Ümit’s chest skin in order to understand if her tissue would be compatible with that of her son. With positive results observed after one year, Ümit was taken for surgery at the Gaziantep University Medical Faculty, where a new pair of ears was made from the rib cartilage located in his mother’s abdominal cavity.
Mutaf told reporters that Gül’s condition is known as “anatoia.”
“When [the Gül family] came to us, we could not find cartilage tissue to be used as an ear construction for Ümit. Later, Ayşe Gül said we could take it from her. We thought about this for a while and then put it into execution,” he said.
“This is the first operation in which an ear has been made using the cartilage tissue of another person. We have undertaken all the operations at the Gaziantep University Medical Faculty and we are proud. This operation will pave the way for other cases,” Mutaf added.
The mother praised the surgery as transformative for her son’s life.
“My son was born without two ears. We have suffered for many years. Ümit has worn down and ended up leaving school because of this. He did not continue his education after high school. He got engaged but was left by his fiancée because he did not have ears. His psychological situation deteriorated and he attempted suicide,” she reportedly stated.
“As I ran out of cartilage in my rib cage, my mother gave me tissue. Now I have ears. I no longer have to grow my hair to cover it up. I thank my doctor and my mother,” her son said during the press conference.