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September 10, 2003

New generation cochlear in 1-year-old kid

From: Sify, India - Sept 10, 2003

Chennai: A team of ENT surgeons on Tuesday implanted the new generation cochlear implant on a 12-month-old child, claimed to be the second case in Asia at the private hospital in Chennai.

The surgical team was led by city's renowned ENT Surgeon, Prof. K K Ramalingam and his son, Dr Ravi Ramalingam of the KKR ENT Hospital and Research Institute Pvt Ltd, a release from the hospital said.

The child, born deaf with no speech development, was implanted the new generation cochlear called Hi Res 90K Bionic Ear, though cochlear implants are nothing new.

The new device has several advantages over the existing ones like much higher speed of stimulation, which meant, that the child would have more information being delivered to the human cochlea, resulting in high clarity and quality of speech and sound.

It is five times more faster than the currently available implants. The human cochlea is stimulated at over 90,000 times per second giving the patient almost normal hearing, Dr Ravi said in the statement.

In the next two years, it would be possible to completely replace the external portion of the cochlear implant with a very small component which will be implanted under the skin making it completely invisible, Ravi said.

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