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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Man's ear mended in rare surgery
Repaired ear
Mr McNeill's ear was repaired using micro-surgery
An East Sussex man has become one of the few people in the world to undergo successful ear micro-surgery.

Matthew McNeill, 27, from Battle, was taken to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead for an operation after he lost part of his ear in an accident.

Mr McNeill had got his head trapped between a wooden beam and a low ceiling while parking a tractor.

Plastic surgeon, TC Teo, said microscopic blood vessels had to be reconnected during the 10-hour surgery.

The operation also involved using stitches thinner than a human hair.

Ear felt 'ragged'

"The blood vessels were at the limit of the magnification on the microscope," the consultant said.

Mr McNeill was admitted to hospital on 6 May after he lost part of his ear in an accident in a small barn.

He said the vehicle suddenly lurched forward as he parked his tractor and his head got trapped.

"I touched my ear and it felt more ragged than it should do," said Mr McNeill.

Three years ago Mr Teo wrote a paper on micro-surgery detailing 10 cases of successful ear re-attachment.

He said he believed there had been 12 successful cases.


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See more about the pioneering ear surgery



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