What could be the first of its kind in the region, Fortis Hospital, Mohali today launched Cochlear Implant Clinic. The clinic was launched by Dr Ashok Gupta, Director, Department of ENT, Fortis Mohali.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Most of the children remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed very late. Dr Gupta advised for regular medical checkup with specialist so that it can be diagnosed early, and corrective surgery can be taken for a better quality of life. The treatment is done in the form of cochlear implantation which is a 2-hour surgery and requires 2-3 days hospitalization & the implant requires a switch on after 3 weeks. The main factors which assure success include right candidate selection, right evaluation & good quality of implant in addition to surgical technique. Another factor that ensures success is post-op rehabilitation, ie; speech therapy to ensure that child starts hearing & speaking. The best results are obtained if the implant is done easily in life that is as early as when the child is 6 months of age. The brain's area for speech development is taken over by visual area after 6 years of age, so earlier the better.”
The incidence of deafness amongst new born children is 4 of 1000 live born children. Government of India has started early intervention in the form of otoacoustic emission as a screening test to be done for every hospital born child, though it is strictly not being followed.
Fortis Mohali has started cochlear implant for patients from Abroad. Recently, a patient was operated for profound hearing loss from Ethiopia. The family specifically chose this place considering the credentials of the Surgeon and the Hospital. The results are excellent, and as per the family it is much cheaper here. This can really help as a reach-out program for children even from overseas who are born deaf and mute, to not only provide them with excellent care and treatment, but also a cheaper treatment compared to their own country.