South Africa’s Mashudu Tshifularo Performs World’s First 3D-Printed Middle-Ear Transplant

South Africa’s Mashudu Tshifularo, a professor at the University of Pretoria has become the first surgeon to perform the world’s first 3D-printed middle-ear replacement surgery.

During the surgery performed by 57 year old Prof. Tshifularo in 2019, the well-known ENT specialist used innovative 3D technology to print the bones that make up the middle ear (hammer, anvil, stirrup and the ossicles) and successfully implanted the model into a trauma patient.

In a research by South African Hearing Institute, the hearing ability of humans naturally reduces from age 30 or 40. However by age 80, the majority of humans suffer from hearing disorders. Although hearing disorders are a part of the human aging process, it can also result in physical damage to the ears or head.

According to Good Things Guy , Mashudu Tshifularo who doubles as a pastor and the Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pretoria said:

“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,” 

In addition, the surgery focused on simplifying the middle ear medical procedure of reconstructing the ossicles.

Prof. Tshifularo is not just making history all by himself, he is also committed to mentoring students who find themselves in the medical field but from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Congratulations Prof.  Mashudu Tshifularo. Keep making Africa proud.

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