Melomed Articles


4 April 2019 - Dr. Lungile Setoaba

Middle ear procedure available at Melomed Richards Bay


Some forms of hearing loss could be cured - thanks to ground-breaking surgery offered at Melomed Richards Bay.

Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon Dr Lungile Setoaba is the only doctor in KZN that performs endoscopic ear surgery procedures, including endoscopic stapedectomy.

At 3mm, the stape might be the smallest bone in the human body, but when it is damaged or malfunctional, it can rob you of one of your most important senses: hearing.

In a stapedectomy, the damaged stape bone is removed and replaced with a micro prosthesis. This is a very sensitive operation, as the stape is located inside the middle ear near the facial nerve. 

Melomed Richards Bay is the only hospital in KZN where this procedure is conducted endoscopically - entering the middle ear via the ear canal with the visual assistance of a tiny camera. 

Most ENT surgeons use the traditional method of making a large incision either behind or in front of the ear to gain access to the middle ear. An operating microscope is then used to conduct  the procedure, however the microscope offers limited visualisation and access to the middle ear. 

According to Dr Setoaba, the benefits of endoscopy far outweighs traditional methods.

This is a minimal invasive surgery that is far less painful and much more accurate than traditional ear surgery. Chances for complications are limited and there is no scarring. The patient can be discharged within hours and his recovery period will be much faster,' she enthuses.

Endoscopic ear surgery has truly changed the way we treat patients!'

The success of endoscopic ear surgery addressing various problems in the middle ear has been well documented.

Dr Setoaba is well versed in the art of conducting advanced procedures on the ear, including Ossicular Chain Reconstruction, tympanoplasty which is the reconstruction of the tympanic membrane, the insertion of grommets and limilted tympanomastoidectomy for cholesteatoma, to mention but a few., and she looks forward to help restore even more patients' hearing at Melomed Private Hospital.

With the news of the University of Pretoria having just performed the world's first middle ear implant using 3D printed bones, it will be great for people to know that some kind of intervention for hearing loss patients is available at our hospitals.


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