SA doctors cure deafness using 3D printing tech
A group of South African doctors have made a huge advancement in the international medical field by successfully completing the first-ever middle ear transplant. The ground-breaking procedure was performed using 3D printing technology to reconstruct the broken bones of the patient’s middle ear and the surgery is being hailed as the first long-term solution to conductive hearing loss.
Patients of all ages will be able to safely undergo this pioneering procedure, even new-born babies. This unique procedure can effectively cure patients of a kind of deafness caused by inner ear damage or infections contracted from birth defects or metabolic diseases.
The patient who underwent the successful transplant was a 35-year-old male who had lost his hearing due to a car accident that severely damaged the inside of his ear. Due to the nature of the patient’s injuries, the operation lasted for roughly one and a half hours.
According to the South African Hearing Institute, our hearing ability naturally declines from age 30 or 40. In fact, by age 80, more than half of humans suffer from significant hearing loss. While hearing loss is a natural part of ageing, it could also occur as a result of disease or infection. It may also be inherited or be the result of physical damage to the ears or head. This new transplanting procedure could change this seemingly permanent and unavoidable loss of hearing.
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