A team of South African doctors have been successful in performing the world’s middle ear transplant.
This was done with the help of 3D-printing technology to reconstruct the broken bones of a middle ear. In the future, this will be deemed a long-term solution to treat conductive hearing loss. The best part is that this surgery can be conducted on people of any age, including newborn babies thereby, curing patients of deafness that is caused by physical damage or a kind infection in the middle ear as well as congenital birth defects and metabolic diseases.
The first patient to undergo this kind of surgery was a 35-year-old male who lost his hearing ability after a car crash damaged his middle ear. Due to the kind trauma, the patient has experienced, the operation lasted for about an hour and a half.
The brainchild behind this technique Professor Mashudu Tshifularo from the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital had been researching on conductive hearing loss from the past decade, but in the past two years he began toying about use of 3D printing technolog for the purpose of scanning and wholly recreating the smallest bones, or ossicles, of the middle ear–namely the hammer, anvil and stirrup.