GUNTUR: In a rare feat, doctors at a private hospital performed bilateral cochlear implantation surgery on five kids in a span of a few days. It is said to be the first time for any doctor to perform five bilateral cochlear surgeries in one go. Cochlear implant surgeries are performed to bring the hearing capacity back to the infants who were deaf by birth and help them speak. Interestingly, the state government had recently included bilateral cochlear implant surgeries in YSR Arogyasri scheme.
Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, noted cochlear implant surgeon and ENT professor Dr Yarlagadda Subba Rayudu said that they have successfully performed surgeries on five children with below 2 years. While two kids are from Prakasam district, one each from East, West Godavari and Guntur districts. He said that children with hearing deficiency would require cochlear implant surgery to make them hear as normal human beings. He said that loss of hearing capacity in infants would make majority of them dumb as listening is crucial to speak. “Taking the high-costs involved in the surgery into consideration, Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy included cochlear implant surgery on one ear in Arogyasri scheme almost 15 years ago. Present CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had taken another bold move to bring sequential cochlear implant surgeries into Arogyasri which helps infants get implants for both the ears,” said Dr Subba Rayudu.
He said that each surgery would cost around Rs.12 lakh and parents from BPL families could not afford to take the costs on their own. He, however, said that chief minister Jagan’s decision to allow cochlear implant surgery on both ears would go a long way in bringing down the deaf and dumb rate among the infants drastically. He said that while AP is the first state to support such surgeries in the country, Kerala is following the practice. He said that the Centre had recently included one ear surgery in the ADIP scheme.
Noted audiologist Dr Tanguturi Narender said that cochlear implant surgeries would bring a sea of change in the quality of life of children. He, however, appealed to parents to approach the ENT specialists soon after noticing that their children were unable to speak. He said that such surgeries should be performed below three years age for better results. “Below 36 months is golden age to perform cochlear implant surgery and make children live their normal life,” said Dr Narender.