Saturday 25 October, 2014

Leeches can fix torn ear!

Published On: Thu, Apr 17th, 2014 | Synthetic Biology | By BioNews

Believe it or not! A 19-year-old woman in the US who lost her ear to a dog attack got it back with the help of a few leeches.

The dog mauling left the woman with a small laceration on her arm and her left ear entirely torn off.

Stephen Sullivan, a plastic surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital, operated upon the girl’s ear and re-attached the torn ear using a novel technique, media reports said.

Though the artery brought fresh blood to the girl’s reattached ear, they could not find a vein to drain blood back to the body.

So they turned to leeches.

“The body is very efficient at making new arteries and veins, so the leeches are temporary,” Sullivan was quoted as saying in LiveScience.

They act as temporary drainage for the ear while the ear makes its own new veins, Sullivan added.

For over two weeks, the woman recovered in the hospital with leeches attached to her left ear, draining away deoxygenated blood.

In the meantime, the ear grew its own veins to drain the reattached tissue.

The report appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More from Synthetic Biology
  • Superbugs could make surgery life threatening in future
  • New drug combo can provoke cancers cells to kill themselves
  • Anti-dengue vaccine to be ready in six years: Expert
  • UAE to reduce prices of 115 pharmaceutical drugs
  • How ‘bionic’ bacteria can help fight disease and global warming
  • Visit us on Google+