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South African Doctor Cures Deafness With First-Ever Middle Ear Transplant




In the capital city, Pretoria, a group of South African doctors have been appreciated as pioneers in the field of medicine globally after successfully performing the first-ever transplant of a patient’s middle ear.

The achievement with the help of 3D printed technology reconstructs the bones of the middle ear which are broken. The process has been celebrated and acknowledged as the long term solution to hearing loss. The surgery can be performed on people of any age, including infants. It can cure people of any form of deafness which has been caused by physical infection or damage in the middle ear. It can also cure congenital birth defects and defects caused by metabolism.

The 35-year old man who lost his hearing due to a devastating car accident was the first person ever to be treated by this process. He had badly injured his middle ear. The operation stretched for an hour and a half owing to the trauma he underwent.

The mastermind behind this procedure is the medical team at the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital led by professor Mashudu Tshifularo. He has invested the past ten years in studying about hearing loss. He began an investigation on the use of 3D print technology for the scanning in the past two years. It can create the smaller bones or ossicles of the middle ear by the technology- namely the stirrup, anvil, and hammer.

The South African department of health issued a celebratory press release where the professor described that by replacing only ossicles which are not functioning correctly, the process possesses relatively lesser risk than prostheses or any other associated process of surgery. He extended his speech by saying that titanium is used for the process which is a biocompatible element. The procedure is expected to be rather quick and with minimal scarring owing to the use of the endoscope in the surgery.

Tshifularo in another interview at the local radio station said, that the patients had been waiting for this kind of reconstruction for almost three years but they were highly expensive and hence couldn’t be afforded. However, now they have done something new in the world and they will be recognized and remembered for their deed. While he is elated that he was the first in the whole world to revolutionize the newer approach to hearing loss, he is adamant to make this process affordable and accessible for the poor patients, who only have money to afford the public hospitals in South Africa.

For the professor, the motto in life is ‘innovate or perish ‘. This is his approach to medical science in terms of invention, education, clinical processes, and research. He also uses this to devise new solutions to the various problems faced by the communities that are struggling. He hopes and believes that he and his team at the otorhinolaryngology department at the University will be presented with the necessary funding from private sponsors as well as the government to ensure that the newer approach to the loss of hearing treatment can get underway.

South African Doctor Cures Deafness With First-Ever Middle Ear Transplant South African Doctor Cures Deafness With First-Ever Middle Ear Transplant Reviewed by Tyler on March 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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