Cochlear Implant

17/8/2015

For the first time at the Ziv Medical Center surgery was performed to carry out a cochlear implant in the inner ear.

Dr. Massoud Saqr, who has specialized in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck surgery as well as otologic surgery, performed a cochlear implant operation at Ziv Medical Center.

The four and a half hour operation was performed on a 70 year old woman, a resident of the Galilee region who suffered from a bilateral profound hearing loss and did not benefit from using regular hearing aids.

The cochlear implant is an electronic device implanted in the ears of a patient suffering from a hearing impediment, bordering on deafness, a condition which cannot be assisted by the use of hearing aids. A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of the damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain. Many people suffer hearing loss because their hair cells in the inner ear or (or cochlea) are damaged. The cochlear implant enables the sound to be transferred to the patient's hearing nerves and enabling them to hear.

The implant can be performed on babies, children and adults who have an ear structure that enables the transplant.

Dr. Massoud Saqr explained that the implant is performed once only during the patient's life time but requires periodic follow-up at the hospital in order to ensure its efficient performance. "The cochlear implant differs from regular hearing aids. During the first few months following surgery, the patient goes through a process of adjustment to hearing via the implant. During this period it is extremely important to maintain close follow-up". Dr. Saqr added that patients who undergo the implant surgery who were able to hear in the past usually achieve better results compared to patients who were born deaf and had the transplant at a later age. For toddlers, it is ideal to perform the transplant at an early age, preferably before the age of two, in order to achieve the greatest benefit from the implant, both for communication and learning purposes.

Dr. Peter Gilbey, Head of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery at Ziv Medical Center said that Cochlear Implants will now be a regular part of the wide range of operations and procedures provided by the ENT Department. Following the implant surgery, continued treatment, support and follow-up will be provided by audiologists at the Hearing Institute at Ziv who have undergone specialized training in this field. "To date, patients from the Galilee and the Golan Heights have had to travel to distant hospitals in order to have this operation. Now they will be able to undergo surgery closer to home. The ENT Department is continually improving and expanding its range of services in order to provide the patients with the best possible quality services, using the most advanced treatments and technologies" said Dr. Gilbey.