APPLICATIONMEDICAL

3D Printed Prosthetic Implants could Help Cure Hearing Loss

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A custom 3D printed ossicular prosthesis has been found to be effective in curing hear loss

Doctors have hailed a revolutionary treatment that makes use of 3D printing technology to cure hear loss.  For example, in a study, doctors showed how 3D printing was being used to create implants for ossicular conductive hearing loss – a type of hearing loss characterised by damage to the middle ear.

As per the doctors, 3D-printed ossicular replacement prostheses are proving to be a viable option for surgical reconstruction of the ossicular chain. Surgical reconstruction of the ossicular chain is a well-established surgery to treat ossicular defects. However, this surgery was plagued with high failure rates mainly because of lack of proper sizing of prosthetics made of ceramic and stainless steel that were implanted as a way to restore hearing. For example, earlier, due to the small size of the middle ear and anatomic variations of ossicles of each patient, otologic surgeons were finding it difficult to accurately reproduce prostheses that matched the patient’s size of ossicles.

However, in a study, doctors demonstrated that 3D printing made it possible for them to detect the anatomic size differences in human middle ear ossicles by accurately capturing the inherent subtle variation in the design of the prosthesis and produce prostheses that are of accurate size of patient’s ossicles.

This has helped doctors overcome the technical challenge of reproducing properly sized prostheses and helped otologic surgeons produce prosthetics that could be an exact fit to a specific patient’s ossicles and use them as a way to restore hearing in patients suffering from conductive hearing loss.

 

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