New surgical technique for cochlear implantation


MED-EL and the Switzerland-based medical technology company CAScination have initiated joint development of a novel minimally-invasive, robot-assisted method for implantation of cochlear implants.

The new method uses a high-precision robot system to drill a small access tunnel from the skull to the cochlea. Implant electrodes can then be placed, causing minimal tissue damage. The aim is also to reduce the length of the intervention, to increase safety, and limit the impact on patients who need this type of hearing device.

“The minimally-invasive robotic surgical method, in combination with MED-EL’s atraumatic electrode arrays, will make a further technological contribution to the preservation of residual hearing and an intact cochlea because today’s implanted children will most likely, throughout their life, have to undergo various therapies,” says Dr Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO at MED-EL.

“We are very proud that we can now demonstrate our existing expertise in the development of new surgical techniques in the extremely demanding field of cochlear implants,” says Dr Matthias Peterhans, CEO at CAScination AG, a company founded in 2009 specializing in the development and marketing of novel medical technology in the field of computer-assisted and image-guided soft tissue surgery.

The project is the result of extensive preliminary studies carried out at the Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospital of Bern and at the ARTORG Center, University of Bern, Switzerland. Funding was provided by both the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation.

Source: MedGadget