First Ever Middle Ear Transplant with 3D Printer, Curing Deafness – South Africa

- in News, Technology
24710
credit: capetownetc.com

Until now, there were ways to increase hearing loss or sadly deaf people had to live with their ailment. Not much could be done for the people that are completely deaf.

A team of South African doctors in Pretoria at the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital, headed by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo has made a massive breakthrough in the medical field by successfully completing the first ever middle ear transplant.

Prof. Tshifularo, had been studying conductive hearing loss over the past decade. In the last two years he began to investigating using the 3D printing technologies.

3D printing is a processes in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object, with material being added together, layer by layer.

It seems the patient whose middle ear was damaged in a car accident has been successfully cured, after the procedure using 3D technology to reconstruct the broken bones of the patient’s middle ear.

In a press release Tshifularo is quoted:
“By replacing only the ossicles that aren’t functioning properly, the procedure carries significantly less risk than known prostheses and their associated surgical procedures. We will use titanium for this procedure, which is biocompatible. We use an endoscope to do the replacement, so the transplant is expected to be quick, with minimal scarring. 3D technology is allowing us to do things we never thought we could,”

This is good news for the people whose deafness is caused by physical damage or infections in the middle ear, congenital birth disabilities as well as metabolic diseases. The surgery could be performed on patients of any age, including newborns.

Tshifularo who is head of the Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, nose, and throat) said, he needs sponsors and funding to get this invention off the ground.

The Department of Health, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said that they shall do everything in their power to assist and to make sure that Prof. Tshifularo gets all the help he needs.

Our hearing ability naturally declines as we age. By the age of 80, it is estimated that more than half of humans suffer from hearing loss, according to the SA Hearing Institute. Hearing loss could also occur from infections and diseases, or even inherited, or a result of physical damage as it was in the above patients case. With this new transplant procedure, it could change things permanently for a lot of people.

3D printing is a processes in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object, with material being added together, layer by layer.

Featured image via: capetownetc.com

You may also like

Company In Vietnam Makes Straws Out Of Grass Instead Of Plastic

Ong Hut Co in Vietnam owned by Tran