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Microsurgical prostheses for the ear, United States, 1980

Almost microscopic in size, these tiny prostheses are used to repair the bones of the inner ear or plug a hole in the eardrum. Some are called grommets and are used to treat recurrent ear infections or ‘glue ear’. Grommets are tiny tubes inserted into the middle ear to keep it free from fluid build up. This range of prostheses represent the emergence of new techniques that attempted to improve hearing and ear-related conditions ‘from the inside’ rather than relying solely on larger externally placed devices. They were made by an American based company, Xomed Inc.

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Glossary: aural prosthesis

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).