Bangalore, 17 March 2022: The Department of ENT and Hearing Implantology at Aster RV Hospital Bangalore conducted a bilateral simultaneous (both ears) cochlear implant surgery on a 20-month old baby. Shraddha (name changed) was diagnosed with congenital hearing loss during a routine check-up which, if left unaddressed, could leave the child with poor speech development. The patient from West Bengal, India reached Aster RV Hospital, Bangalore after doing their background research on the best doctors available for the cochlear implant surgery.

According to reports, over 27,000 children are born with congenital hearing loss in India each year. In Baby Shraddha’s case,  she was screened for hearing loss when the parents noticed that she did not respond to sounds and had not spoken yet. She was evaluated in West Bengal when she was 9 months old. Further radiological evaluation was done at Aster RV Hospital and she was deemed fit to undergo bilateral cochlear implant surgery.

Dr. Rohit Udaya Prasad, Lead Consultant – ENT and Cochlear Implant Surgery, Aster RV Hospital said, “Hearing loss in a baby can be treated with the help of hearing aids or cochlear implants depending on the severity of the hearing loss. In Shraddha’s case, we conducted a simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant to help give her a full range of hearing. The operating time was significantly reduced as we used a minimally invasive VERIA technique which would also allow us to discharge her the next day itself so she could go home and recover. With the help of this technology, baby Shraddha should be able to have hearing and speech development.”

Shraddha responded very well to the surgery. With regular aural and speech rehabilitation, Shraddha is expected to develop linguistic skills as per the regular development patterns and adapt to the hearing device.

“Babies with hearing loss can often go unnoticed due to a lack of early screenings. After birth, babies with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants which have better outcomes if done early and can dramatically improve the child’s hearing potential versus if someone sought help at a later stage. The earliest a child can be implanted is by the age of 8-9 months. Regular screenings, government screening drives and regulatory policies to mandate such screenings will help identify these kids early,” added Dr. Rohit Udaya Prasad.

Incidentally, this is the first simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant surgery conducted in the youngest child at the Aster group.