Procedure to give raccoon-mauled girl new ear

Charlotte Ponce before surgery in the Detroit area. (Courtesy WDIV - April 14, 2014)
Charlotte Ponce before surgery in the Detroit area. (Courtesy WDIV - April 14, 2014)

DETROIT, Mich. (WOOD) — A Spring Lake girl who was mauled by a raccoon as a baby will undergo a rare procedure to replace her ear.

Charlotte Ponce was attacked in 2002 by the raccoon her parents kept as a pet. She was only three months old at the time. She lost her right ear, nose and part of her lips and cheek to the attack. Charlotte, who was adopted by her aunt and uncle, underwent surgery in 2012 at the age of 10 to rebuild some of her face and her nose.

Tuesday, her plastic surgeon Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak will begin the process to replace her right ear.

WDIV out of Detroit reports that the doctor will take cartilage from Charlotte’s ribs and shape it into an ear form. That will be placed under the skin of her forearm, where for the next eight weeks the skin will mold to it. In June, he will move the ear to its rightful place on Charlotte’s head.

Dr. Chaiyasate told WDIV it’s not easy to do, so he has been practicing carving the ear using potatoes.

Tuesday’s surgery is expected to take between seven and eight hours, according to WDIV.

The procedure appears to have been performed only twice before, WDIV reports.



Heal Charlotte

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