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Doctors Use Leeches To Save Girl’s Ear

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(credit: istock)

(credit: istock)

CBS Detroit (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDetroit.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDetroit.com/Health

DETROIT (WWJ) – It sounds like something from the Dark Ages, but plastic surgeons have used leeches to save a teenage girl’s ear.

A dog attacked the 19 year-old girl last July, completely detaching her left ear.

Although the ear remained fully intact, there were complications during the initial reattachment, which put the girl in jeopardy of losing the ear permanently. That’s when her plastic surgeons turned to leeches.

Because doctors couldn’t immediately reconnect the veins to the ear, those veins became congested.

The medicinal-quality leeches acted as a temporary drainage system, until the patient’s body was able to make new veins.

After 17 days, doctors removed the leeches and reattached the patient’s ear, which has fully recovered in both function and appearance.

This very unique case appears in the New England Journal of Medicine. [Read more HERE].

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