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SGPGI doctors use implants to fix earlobe of 12-yr-old girl

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Lucknow, June 29 (Ajit Weekly News) A team of plastic surgeons at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow have successfully used a high-end matrix rib implant (used in repairing rib defects) in re-constructing lop ear, a common congenital problem in which the earlobe does not grow properly and becomes flappy.

Affecting one in 700-1,000 persons, the treatment of the problem was considered complex as the ear reconstruction involves extracting a section of the rib to recreate the ear.

Prof Rajeev Agarwal, who headed the team, said, “Ribs are the only source of cartilage in the body. Though ear reconstruction is not a risky procedure when seen in isolation but the extraction of the rib for cartilage makes it difficult. So, in an effort to simplify the matter, we thought of using the implant instead of the actual rib.”

He added that the procedure was successfully performed on a 12-year-old girl born with a lop ear with the flap rolled inwards.

Matrix rib fixation system is a German product in use for nearly a decade now. The implants come with titanium screws and plates that may be easily moulded as per the patient’s unique needs.

“In our case, the apparatus will save patients from undergoing the scalpel for extraction of the rib which has its unique risks as the process to take out the rib is delicate and challenging,” he said.

He further said that the method will soon be documented in journals and will now be readily available to patients at the institute.

Talking about the side effects, he said, “The basic disadvantage in the traditional method was that after the section from the rib had been taken, a residual gap in the rib cage is left behind. This makes a person more vulnerable than usual to a deeper (even fatal) impact to external injury. In cases where a large piece or multiple sections are taken, a patient’s breathing may get compromised.”

–Ajit Weekly News
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