The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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Hear it! Freedom from silence

- AIIMS to perform cochlear implant surgeries today

Cochlear implant surgeries would be performed for the first time in Patna on Monday, thanks to All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

The Patna wing of the premier health hub would carry out two such surgeries, which at present is not available in any private or government hospitals in the city.

Though two to three cochlear implant surgeries have been conducted in private hospitals of Patna, doctors from outside the state had pulled it off.

“A cochlear implant surgery is useful for patients with hearing problems. If it is done within two years of birth, it can show best results. There is more than 90 per cent chance that hearing condition would improve. However, if the surgery is done on a child aged between five and seven years, there is less chance of recovery. In some cases, if a 60-year-old develops sudden hearing loss, a cochlear implant surgery could ensure that his hearing is restored,” said Kranti Bhavna, the in-charge of the ENT department of AIIMS-Patna, who would be performing the surgery at AIIMS with her team.

She added: “The surgeries on Monday would be carried out on two children. One is a four-year-old from Patna and the other is a 14-year-old from Lucknow. After the surgery, one to two-year-long speech therapy would follow. As of now, we don’t have a speech therapy expert. We would collaborate with private organisations for the speech therapy. A cochlear implant surgery can’t be successful without speech therapy because a person who has never heard any sound would not be able to speak. So, a speech therapy is a must. AIIMS-Patna would have its own speech therapist after six months. Till that time, we would have to depend on the private organisations for the speech therapy.”

G.K. Singh, the director of AIIMS-Patna, said they would help the patient get his/her speech therapy at the place where he/she resides.

“Speech therapy helps in the rehabilitation process of the patient and it is time consuming. It may vary from one to two years, depending on the patient’s progress. Since staying away from home for such a long time would become difficult for the patient, AIIMS-Patna would help the patients to get their speech therapy done at the place where he/she resides. We would collaborate with local private organisations where the patient lives so that he/she can get the speech therapy done,” he said.

So how much one needs to shell out to get the cochlear surgery done at AIIMS-Patna?

“One needs to shell out at least Rs 5.5 lakh for getting the surgery done at AIIMS-Patna because the cheapest cochlear implant which has to be fitted in the patient’s ear, cost the same. AIIMS-Patna has decided that it would request the state and the Union governments to provide incentives to the patients for getting the surgery done at the hospital. We would request the governments after the elections,” said Bhavna.

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