|Image Courtesy: CNN|
Now, Burrage is the latest recipient of a cosmetic reconstruction procedure called prelaminated forearm free flap surgery — a sci-fi-sounding operation that involves “growing” new tissue by implanting a patient’s cartilage under their forearm skin. Although many civilians around the world have successfully undergone the procedure, Burrage is the first American soldier to receive the novel reconstruction process, according to a statement from the U.S. Army.
“The whole goal is, by the time she’s done with all this, it looks good, it’s sensate and in five years if somebody doesn’t know her they won’t notice,” Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, said in the statement. “As a young active-duty soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get.”
“(The ear) will have fresh arteries, fresh veins, and even a fresh nerve so she’ll be able to feel it,” Johnson further said in a statement.
“It’s been a long process for everything, but I’m back,” said Burrage.