Hearing aid implant changes teenager's life.
Summary: Dubai Hospital doctors conducted a complex surgery on the teenager to help her gain her hearing ability
Dubai: A teenager has fully gained her hearing ability after getting a successful bone conduction hearing aid implant by Dubai Hospital doctors.
The Emirati teenager, who was born with hearing difficulty in her right ear, completed the complex surgery in less than an hour, doctors have said, making it the first such successful procedure in the UAE on a patient with a thin skull thickness.
Usually bone conduction implantable hearing aid requires the patient to have a skull thickness of at least 8 millimetres, however, the young patient's skull was 1.5 millimetres.
Dr Jamal Kassouma, ENT consultant at Dubai Hospital, said this new procedure gives hope to patients who wish to regain their hearing ability and lead a normal life, which is why Dubai Hospital was keen to use technology and adapt it to those with thin skull thickness.
While a lot of the sound we hear travels to our ears through the air (air conduction), we actually hear a great deal through vibrations in the bone (bone conduction). Dr Kassouma explained that the bone conduction implants use the body's natural ability to transfer sound.
"The young patient who suffered from hearing loss in her right ear has a skull thickness of 1.5 millimetres, which made it impossible to implant a regular bone bridge, which requires that the skull thickness is at least eight millimetres," he said.
Dr Kassouma and the ENT team conducted a surgery that took less than an hour to implant the bone conduction implant hearing aid, where they attached a titanium plate to the skull so that an external device can pick up the sounds and transfer them to the plate, which is attached by a magnet to transfer the vibrations from the right to the left ear.
He said before conducting the surgery, the ENT team studied where to place the implant with the aid of CT scans. "After careful studying of the CT scan, we found a limited area with a 3mm thickness. We fixed the implantation in that area using a titanium screw."
Dr Kassouma said the surgery was successful and the patient was discharged the next day adding that she won't be needing any rehabilitation following the surgery.
He said that Dubai Hospital has so far succeeded in conducting seven bone conduction hearing aid procedures (for individuals whose skull was thicker than 8 millimetres). He added that bone conduction implants can be the solution to individuals who suffer from hearing difficulties in one ear and external ear deformities, to name a few.
The advantages of this procedure are that it has minimum to zero complications, does not require a long recovery period and achieves wanted results without any aesthetic compromises as the outer piece of the device can be hidden under the hair.
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