Plastic surgeons from Great Ormond Street used cartilage from an eight-year-old boy’s ribs to give him ears after he was born without them.
Kieran Sorkin, from Bushey, was recovering at home this week after an operation to graft the “big new ears” on to his head.
Born with a rare congenital deformity called microtia, which effects one in 100,000 babies, Kieran had only ear lobes until now, with blocked hearing channels rendering him profoundly deaf.
His mother Louise, who works at a Jewish nursery in Edgware, said she cried at the news, but scooter-mad Kieran was just excited, wondering whether he’d have “big elf ears or even elephant ears”.
Plastic surgeon Neil Bulstrode used a model of Louise’s ears to make the framework for Kieran’s new set. He said: “There’s huge psychological benefit for patients from this surgery. If you change the confidence in a patient at this young age, you’ll change his whole trajectory in life.”
The surgeon took cartilage from three of Kieran’s ribs and carved it into shape, building layers that eventually formed ear moulds inserted under the skin.
Kieran’s dad David said they were “blown away by the realism of how wonderful they look”.