HEARO Robotic Cochlear Implantation: Prof. Vedat Topsakal with Prof. Paul Van de Heyning


What I really liked about today
is it went well for my patient. We safely opened the inner ear and we smoothly
place the cochlear implant. Pioneers already have proven
that we can overcome the facial recess. And we worked
for the last year to have two millimeter advancements
to have an inner ear access. By matters of a joke, I say the surgery
is done on a tablet because when you plan
this trajectory the decision-making part
of surgery is already done. The HEARO procedure
only performs or executes the trajectory that you have planned
with such a precision. I think the most impressive measurement
is the accuracy of this system. It’s less than a thickness of your hair
and the precision is needed because we have to go through
the facial recess. You have to pass over
the facial nerve and underneath the chorda tympani
for your taste. That’s about 2.3-2.5 millimeters and then you have to make an opening
of 1.0 millimeters and through that channel you have to manage
to place an array into the cochlea. It performed so well, and I might perhaps even call it
beginner’s luck, but we had a such a nice insertion angle,
which have really never seen and the electrode was covering
the lateral wall perfectly. It was a milestone. So I feel very pleased
with the fact that we could achieve
these results but, to be honest,
before the surgery I was quite confident
that the surgery would go well I was quite confident
with the amount of preparation, careful preparation, the amount of energy
of the whole team, the preparation of the years, the preparation
of the last months and over the last weeks. And it is not just one tool, it is a complete set of tools
that have been developed. With a new developed system
of facial nerve monitoring, this idea of robotic surgery
pushed everyone to develop a complete set of new technologies. And this is a turning point, because now we are able
to do it and to get the precision. But it’s not a threat
to the surgeon at all. It’s like an electric bike;
it’s an electric boost but if you don’t pedal as a cyclist,
it’s not going to advance. I think the first patients
with this technology, with HEARO so-called robotic, in the patients for this robotic surgery, are very, very courageous. I find it’s very courageous
and I really, really appreciate it. After a couple of patients, I think it’s not a matter
of us clinicians having to try
to gain their trust. It’s going to be
the procedure on its own, why the patients
will come to us, and they’ll ask for a procedure
with the HEARO system. Now having done one, it will go on. There’s no way back.

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