Boy Gets New Ears Made From Ribs

A nine-year-old boy born without ears was given a new pair made from his ribs.
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A nine-year-old boy born without ears was given a new pair made from his ribs.
Keiran Sorkin

Photo Credit: BBC

Kieran Sorkin is a nine-year-old from the UK who was born without ears. He was recently given a brand new pair by a surgical team from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, who made the new ears using the boy's ribs. 

When Kieran was born, he was deaf with just two small lobes where his ears should have been. He now has the ability to hear, with the help of an implanted hearing aid from a previous surgery.

"I want people to stop asking me questions," Kieran told the BBC. "I'd like just to look like my friends. I'd also like to be able to wear sunglasses and earphones."

Kieran's mom Louise Sorkin says her son is very sociable and has been wanting the surgery for a long time. She also doesn't want him getting bullied at school.

The surgical team performed the operation by removing cartilage from six of Kieran's ribs to make the new ears. The cartilage was then cut, shaped and sewn. The frameworks were then inserted into pockets in the skin and surgeons used suction to shape the ears on each side. 

The surgery itself is considered cosmetic, as it does nothing to improve hearing. But as Dr. Neil Bustrode points out, there are many psychological benefits.

"If you can change the confidence of a patient at this young age, you can change their whole trajectory in life," he said. "You see this when they come back. It's a huge boost for them."

Kieran will need a second operation in about six months to make his ears stand out from his scalp more. 

Keiran Sorkin

Photo Credit: BBC