Mangaluru: Department of ENT, Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital, Deralakatte successfully performed the first cochlear implant surgery on a 2-year-old congenitally hearing-impaired child, under the government of Karnataka’s Cochlear Implant scheme. The surgery was performed by Dr Deekshith Rajmohan, Cochlear Implant Surgeon under the mentorship of Dr Ramesh Kaulgud, Senior Consultant and CI surgeon, K C General Hospital, Bangalore.
Post-surgery the cochlear implant ‘switch-on’ session was conducted by a team of Audiologist Nimalka, Assistant Professor; Shwetha Prabhu, Associate Professor under the guidance of Dr. Jayashree Bhat, Professor from the Department of Audiology and Speech-language pathology. It was a joyous moment for the parents to notice the child responding to the sound. Dr Gangadhara Somayaji Registrar Yenepoya (Deemed to be university), Dr M S Moosabba Principal, Dr Habib Rahaman Medical superintendent and Dr SaiManohar HOD of ENT were present during the session and handed over the cochlear implant kit to the parents.
Dr Deekshith also stated there are many kids who are born with hearing deficits but because of delay in treatment many a times speech also gets affected. However in this case we were lucky to counsel the parents and get her implanted at a very early age. In India around 5 per 1000 children are born with some hearing problems and deficits.
To identify such children we need to make newborn screening compulsory at every hospital during birth. Ideally, cochlear implant surgeries are done around 1 year and in some instances, it can be done earlier too. He also stated that early identification and treatment is the key to a successful outcome.
Dr Deekshith further said that Yenepoya medical college and hospital, Derlakatte is empanelled under the government of Karnataka scheme for cochlear implantation under the age of 6 years and patients can make use of the provision. He also urged all parents with hearing-impaired children to make use of advanced technology and government schemes.
Shwetha Prabhu informed the parents to make the effective use of cochlear implants through post-surgery training using auditory verbal therapy (AVT) to improve the child’s spoken language development. Currently, the child is undergoing regular auditory verbal therapy (AVT).