South Africa performs world’s first successful middle ear transplant

The head of the department of ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat ) at University of Pretoria medical school, Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his medical team performed the breakthrough operation at the Steve Biko Academic hospital in Pretoria on Wednesday, the 13th of March 2019.

The first patient was a 35-year-old man who lost hearing after a car accident that left his middle ear damaged.

Tshifularo has been doing a PhD study for the past ten years on conductive hearing loss and – over the past two years, the professor thought of using 3D technology to recreate all the bones in the middle ear that are broken.

The 3D technology allows for the scanning and recreating of bones.

In an interview, the professor said this surgery has pioneered a new approach to treating a middle ear problem and rehabilitating sound.

Tshifularo hopes the operation will be affordable for patients who are using public hospitals.