Doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi performed a successful Auditory Brain Implant on a four-year-old girl from Iraq.
Fatima Ali came to the hospital on August 25 and was diagnosed with bilateral sensory-neural hearing loss with underdeveloped cochlea. She was unable to hear since birth. On evaluation and pre-assessment it was found that the cochlea of the child was very small and the auditory nerve was also very poorly developed so a cochlea implant was not possible. Dr. Ameet Kishore, ENT and Cochlea Implant Surgeon decided that the only option available was an auditory brain implant. Fatima underwent a nine-hour surgery on August 26 where an electrode array was inserted into the brain stem with the help of Neurosurgeon Dr. Pranav Kumar.
The surgery was performed independently by two Indian surgeons and monitored live by a doctor in Melbourne, Australia. A scan done post-surgery confirmed that the implant was in position and all was fine. The child was discharged on September 4 and her implant will be switched on in four weeks, followed by mapping (programming of the implant along with hearing and speech therapy), which will help Fatima hear sounds which she was unaware of before.