Two girl children get gift of hearing by cochlear implant surgery in Patna

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Two young girls, deaf and mute, got the gift of hearing on Children’s Day, when doctors at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) performed a rare and difficult cochlear implant surgery on them Wednesday.

“The girls, aged 2 and 4 years, who belong to Patna City and Lakhisarai district, respectively, will register the first sound when the device implanted on Wednesday, is switched on after three weeks. However, it will take three years for speech and language development in the children,” said Dr Rakesh Kumar Singh, professor and head, department of ENT at the IGIMS here.

Explaining the procedure, Dr Rakesh Kumar Singh, professor and head of ENT department at the IGIMS, said: “The surgery on the Lakhisarai girl was difficult as she suffered from mondini (cochlea) deformity besides damage to the sensory cells of the cochlea. Given the deformity in inner ear, it was difficult to do the cochlear implant surgery, but we did the surgery successfully under Dr Ramesh Chandra Deka, former director and head of ENT, AIIMS-Delhi. Professor and head of ENT from AIIMS-Delhi Dr Rakesh Kumar and I assisted Dr Deka in the surgery.”

The state government supported the cochlear implant surgery on the Lakhisarai girl as she hailed from a poor economic background.

“Each surgery cost under Rs 5 lakh (approx.). This includes the cost of cochlear implant (Rs 4.07 lakh), three-year speech therapy programme (Rs 10,000), operation charge (Rs 10,000), bed charge (Rs 8,000) medicines, consumables, besides pre-implant investigations, including MRI, CT scan, vaccination, audiometry test and medicines, costing around Rs 40,000,” said Dr Singh.

“We buy the same implant as AIIMS-Delhi at the same price as per the rate contract done by the country’s premier health hub,” added Dr Singh.

The IGIMS did its first cochlear implant surgery in February 2014. Subsequently, under its director Dr NR Biswas, the institute created full infrastructure required for cochlear implant, including speech therapy, audiometry investigations, etc. and began doing the surgery regularly from September 2017.

So far, the institute has done 42 cochlear implants, added Dr Singh. This was, however, the first complicated case, with vestibular system and cochlea impairment, performed at the IGIMS, putting it at par with AIIMS-Delhi.

Dr Biswas and medical superintendent Dr Manish Mandal appreciated the efforts of Dr Singh and the AIIMS-Delhi team in successfully completing the procedure.

IGIMS has done 42 cochlear implants so far. This was, however, first complicated case with vestibular system and cochlea impairment, at IGIMS, putting it at par with AIIMS-Delhi