A six-year-old girl from the Jind district in Haryana, suffering from profound hearing loss in both ears since birth, successfully underwent cochlear implant surgery at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad. The procedure marks the beginning of the cochlear implant program at the 2,600-bed facility.
“The surgery on the girl child was successful. Electro-physiological assessment has confirmed that her hearing has been restored with the device. The child now needs to undergo training and rehabilitation to learn to use this new hearing power to the fullest,” said Dr. Shomeshwar Singh, Senior Consultant ENT Surgeon.
“Using this device, along with an external device and proper training and rehabilitation, she will be able to hear and speak like any other child. She needs to take precautions not to participate in any contact sports and ensure that the external device is protected from water.”
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that is used when hearing aids do not provide the clarity of sound needed to understand speech. Early intervention is important in children for best outcomes. The implant electrodes are placed inside a bone in the inner ear, called cochlea, by making a small incision behind the ear.
“Any error by the surgeon can cause facial paralysis and not allow the device to connect to the brain to restore hearing. It is very important for the surgeon to be well-trained. The incidence of complications in trained hands is less than 1 percent,” said Dr. Singh.
“Cochlear implant is a bionic ear that is implanted inside the person’s inner ear through surgery, which is conducted under the operating microscope and needs sub-millimeter precision. About 4 to 8 children per 1,000 births are born with profound hearing loss in both the ears. Deafness in both ears, if left untreated, does not allow speech and hearing to develop in the patient, who is forced to use sign language to communicate,” said Dr. Aparna Mahajan, a Consultant in the hospital’s Department of ENT.
Dr. Singh added: “More than one lakh (100,000) children in India are born every year with hearing impairment. Surgery for cochlear implant is complex and treatment cost is high, with a typical device costing anywhere between ₹6-17 lakhs ($7,200- $20,400). By conducting this surgery, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, has established its leadership position in being able to carry out these complex procedures within six months of its inauguration.”
“We are delighted that our daughter will now go on to develop the full potential of hearing and speech with training and rehabilitation,” said the child’s father. “We look forward to her growing up like any other child and going on to attend school and college. We are grateful to the doctors of Amrita Hospital for successfully conducting this complex procedure and giving the gift of a normal life to our child.”
Added Dr. N.N Mathur, HOD & Prof. ENT Surgeon: “We have trained faculty for doing cochlear implants. Two senior faculty have already performed hundreds of such implantations in their previous positions. The department is equipped to perform this surgery using latest gadgets which makes it a very safe procedure at Amrita.”