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To present the auditory implant manipulator, a navigation-controlled mechanical and electronic system which enables minimally invasive (‘keyhole’) transmastoid access to the tympanic cavity.
Materials and methods:
The auditory implant manipulator is a miniaturised robotic system with five axes of movement and an integrated drill. It can be mounted on the operating table. We evaluated the surgical work field provided by the system, and the work sequence involved, using an anatomical whole head specimen.
The work field provided by the auditory implant manipulator is considerably greater than required for conventional mastoidectomy. The work sequence for a keyhole procedure included pre-operative planning, arrangement of equipment, the procedure itself and post-operative analysis.
Although system improvements are necessary, our preliminary results indicate that the auditory implant manipulator has the potential to perform keyhole insertion of implantable hearing devices.
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