Anaplasty Gives Teenage Girl New Found Beauty

When Elise Lutz was a toddler in China she suffered a severe burn which seriously disfigured her right ear with a molten lump which she tried tirelessly to hide from the view of friends and strangers alike. When Elise became a teenager she wanted what many of her friends had; pierced ears. And thus began her search for a new ear and the feeling of wholeness which she had missed throughout her childhood.

For Elise the perfect answer was not plastic surgery or a glue-on prosthesis which could easily be knocked off, especially since she is an ardent swimmer. The answer for Elise came from anaplasty, the field in which medical artists create ‘Hollywood-esque’ special effects that mimic the look of real-life, including shimmering in the sun like real skin.

“People who have implant-retained ears or noses or whatever usually think of them really as their own body,” says Jerry Schoendorf, who, with his colleague at The Anaplastology Clinic in Durham, N.C., — and surgeons at nearby Duke University Medical Center — created Elise’s ear.

“It’s the Rolls Royce of what we can offer,” adds fellow anaplastologist Jay McClennen.


Rachel Forsythe has a B.A. in English Literature and worked as an editor for a local weekly news magazine. She is now a stay-at-home mom, raising three younger boys and two older daughters. Her favorite activities are hiking, reading, traveling, bike riding, skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer. She also loves to cook. Be in touch with Rachel at Rachel[at]

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