Doctors in South Africa have just made a new medical breakthrough in ear surgery. The recently performed a successful transplant of middle-ear bones with the use of 3-D printed components. This is the first time this is being achieved anywhere in the world.
The procedure was performed on a 40-year-old man at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. The man had been hard on hearing due to a damaged middle ear bone resulting from an injury. Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria developed the 3-D printouts.
This groundbreaking surgery could be the answer to several middle ear difficulties such as infections, trauma, congenital birth defects, etc. The transplant involved a replacement of the anvil, hammer, stirrup, and the ossicles.
The surgery took a duration of one and a half hours. The team of doctors said the procedure was a bit complicated because the patient had suffered a trauma. The patients are expected to regain their hearing ability immediately after the surgery. In this case, however, the ears will be bandaged for a period of two weeks. The surgery can be performed on people of any age, including children.
This is not the first groundbreaking procedure performed by South African doctors. Four years ago the world’s first penis transplant was performed in Cape Town. The surgery was a collaboration between doctors at Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Stellenbosch University.