For many years, cochlear implants have restored a sense of hearing in people with certain types of hearing loss. For surgeons, the implantation requires a precise attention to detail under the microscope. The results for the patients improve significantly with a more precise placement of the electrode array. The use of a surgical robot can increase the accuracy of the procedure.
In this interview with MEDICA-tradefair.com, Prof. Stefan Weber talks about the world’s first robot-assisted cochlear implantation, how the safety of the drilling process in the submillimeter range is ensured and discusses other possible applications of this surgical technique.
Prof. Weber, how do conventional cochlear implantations work?
Prof. Stefan Weber: First, the surgeon performs a mastoidectomy to create access to the middle ear. That is to say, the petrous bone, the skull bone behind the ear, is milled to create a funnel-shaped opening. The facial nerve and chorda tympani nerve run just one centimeter beneath the surface in this area. A narrow tunnel is then drilled between these two nerves. Surgeons have about two millimeters to do this. Right behind it is the middle ear cavity where you can see the cochlear wall. It needs to be opened to obtain access to the cochlea through which the silicon electrode of the implant can be inserted. ...
Read the complete interview with Prof. Stefan Weber at MEDICA-tradefair.com!