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January 12, 2005

Auditory brainstem implant done in Chennai on poor girl:

From: New Kerala, India - Jan 12, 2005

[India News]: Chennai, Jan 12 : A 15-year-old school girl has successfully undergone 'auditory brainstem plant' here recently to restore her lost hearing and thus became the first person in India and South and Southeast Asia to receive such an implant.

The implant costs around Rs nine lakh and since the patient came from a poor family, the entire surgery and implant were done free of cost by Madras ENT Research Foundation (MERF), charitable Trust and Achanta Lakshmipathy Neurosurgical centre, VHS, Chennai.

Jayalakshmi, the plus-one student in a government girls higher secondary school in suburban Guduvancherry, had developed sudden hearing loss in both the ears two years ago. Subsequently, she developed total hearing loss following detection of brain tumor by a neurophysician.

Presenting the girl, Dr Mohan Kameswaran, renowned ENT surgeon, who headed the team, said a brain stem implant was an important device which is kept on the hearing area of the brain stem. It collects external sounds, converts them into electrical energy and stimulates the nucleus (cochlear nucleus in the brain stem), giving the patient a perception of sound.

Brain stem implant is a rare and highly advanced surgery which is performed only on patients having brain tumors involving the nerve of hearing. Children born with congenital deafness of both ears who have no inner ear (cochlear) development or no nerve of hearing also benefit by such stem implants. PTI

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