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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Aug;274(8):3021-3028. doi: 10.1007/s00405-017-4618-4. Epub 2017 May 24.

Utility of 3D printed temporal bones in pre-surgical planning for complex BoneBridge cases.

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RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
, P O Box 1384, Wahroonga, 2076, Sydney, Australia.
Vestibular Research Laboratory, School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
St. George Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


With the advent of single-sided hearing loss increasingly being treated with cochlear implantation, bone conduction implants are reserved for cases of conductive and mixed hearing loss with greater complexity. The BoneBridge (BB, MED-EL, Innsbruck, Austria) is an active fully implantable device with no attenuation of sound energy through soft tissue. However, the floating mass transducer (FMT) part of the device is very bulky, which limits insertion in complicated ears. In this study, 3D printed temporal bones of patients were used to study its utility in preoperative planning on complicated cases. Computed tomography (CT) scans of 16 ears were used to 3D print their temporal bones. Three otologists graded the use of routine preoperative planning provided by MED-EL and that of operating on the 3D printed bone of the patient. Data were collated to assess the advantage and disadvantage of the technology. There was a statistically significant benefit in using 3D printed temporal bones to plan surgery for difficult cases of BoneBridge surgery compared to the current standard. Surgeons preferred to have the printed bones in theatre to plan their drill sites and make the transition of the planning to the patient's operation more precise. 3D printing is an innovative use of technology in the use of preoperative planning for complex ear surgery. Surgical planning can be done on the patient's own anatomy which may help to decrease operating time, reduce cost, increase surgical precision and thus reduce complications.


3D printing; Atresia; Bone conduction implants; BoneBridge; Intact canal wall mastoidectomy; Microtia; Modified radical mastoidectomy; Presurgical planning

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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