– Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria performed the world’s first middle-ear surgery using 3D technology
– Thabo Moshiliwa, 40, and 62-year-old Simon Bohale were the first two people to have the surgery
– According to Prof Tshifularo, the surgery is a long-lasting solution to hearing loss and it is a more affordable procedure
Prof Tshifularo, who is the head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pretoria also known as Tuks, was the brain behind the breakthrough surgical procedure.
According to The Citizen report, the procedure is a long-term solution to conductive hearing loss. Making it even more impressive, the surgery can be done on adult and children. The surgery was performed at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
Forty-year-old Thabo Moshiliwa is the world’s first recipient of the 3D-printed middle ear bone.
The medical team spent an hour and the half performing the surgery on Moshiliwa, whose ear trauma complicated the operation. But it was a success at last.
The second patient, 62-year-old Simon Bohale, had an underdeveloped middle ear. His occupation as a welder also contributed to his hearing loss and the conditioned worsened in 1983.
He said: “I am excited. I have had two surgeries before but was not 100% okay. I cannot wait to hear people when they speak to me.”
Prof Tshifularo added that the implant works in the same manner as a hip replacement – a procedure which he credited as his inspiration. The professor said they chose the state hospital because of their desire to help people.