Joining exceptionally outstanding individuals in global history spreading #blackmagic , renowned South African ENT specialist,
Professor Mashudu Tshifularo with his team at the University of Pretoria in March 2019 made history by successfully completing the world’s first-ever middle ear transplant using 3D-printed middle ear bones.
The groundbreaking surgery which can be performed on everyone, newborns inclusive, witnessed the effective replacing of the hammer, anvil, stirrup and the ossicles that make up the middle ear employing 3D-printing technology to print these bones. It can also be used to reconstruct the ossicles.
“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,” Tshifularo said, according to Good Things Guy.
The historic operation completed within one and a half hours was performed at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital with the first recipient being a 35-year-old man who suffered hearing loss as a result of a car crash that damaged his inner ear.
Over the last decade, Professor Tshifularo had invested time and resources conducting intensive research on his Ph.D. on conductive hearing loss before coming up with the idea of using 3D technology to recreate and replace any of the inner ear bones that may be damaged, leading to restoration of hearing loss.
“Two years ago, I started to see that 3D printing is the way to go. I met with some of my collaborators who agreed we can do this thing. Then the idea became real,” he says.
Prof. Tshifularo, highly regarded as one of the best ENT specialists in South Africa is Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat studies, ENT) at the University of Pretoria (UP). Under his leadership, there has been significant contribution towards the advancement and transformation of the Department.