A boy who was born without ears has had a pair made from his ribs.
Nine-year-old Kieran Sorkin always dreamed of having a 'big pair of ears' after being born deaf with small lobes where his ears should be as a result of condition called bilateral microtia.
And his dream came true after an operation at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital last Tuesday (August 5) which saw doctors make ears from his ribs.
In total, it took doctors six hours to create the ears and then graft them to his head.
Kieran, from Hertfordshire – who already had an ear implant to combat his deafness – said after the operation: "I'd like just to look like my friends. I'd also like to be able to wear sunglasses and earphones."
Kieran's mum Louise Sorkin said: "He's a very sociable boy and has longed for this operation for years.
"I don't want children bullying him because he's different. I just want him to be accepted like everyone else."
On the morning of the operation, consultant plastic surgeon Neil Bulstrode stenciled the shape of Louise's ears.
He said: "When a patient has one ear we can match the new ear to that. Fortunately Kieran's mum has very pretty ears so that should work well."
The surgical team removed cartilage from six of Kieran's ribs, which they then cut, shaped and stitched.
These frameworks were inserted in pockets in Kieran's skin and then using suction, they took on the shape of an ear on both sides.
The surgery is cosmetic, not to improve hearing. But Mr Bulstrode said it brings huge psychological benefits.
He said: "If you can change the confidence of a patient at this young age, you can change their whole trajectory in life.
"You see this when they come back. It's a huge boost for them."
About 100 children a year in the UK are born without one or both ears.
When Kieran saw his new ears, his first reaction was "Wow!". However, the operation on his ribs means it hurts when he laughs.
Kieran will need a second operation in six months to make his ears stand out from the scalp more, but he's already delighted with the result.
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