A new procedure has been developed to treat conductive hearing loss. Professor Mashudu Tshifularo has devolved this surgery at the University of Pretoria. The first surgery was a little over a year ago.
The middle ear bones are 3D printed out of titanium to replace injured, damaged from infection, and under developed bones. Just like a hip replacement the pieces are made of titanium to ensure they will hold up inside a human body for years.
Undamaged ear bones were taken from Cadavers, scanned with a CT scanner to image them. These images were then used to print out new titanium ear bones. The doctors team for 3D print is able to scan patient's ear bones and make reconstructed bones that fit like a puzzle back in the ear.
This surgery has been noted to safer and cause less risk of paralysis of facial nerves that previous procedures and prosthesis. Theoretically this process should be able to be used on people of all ages to restore hearing to people who have lost hearing due to injuries, infections, or birth defects. New born babies can even receive the surgery since the ear bones do not change in size as a person grows.