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Cochlear implantation at Gandhi Hospital in a month

Surgeries at the recently launched Cochlear implantation facility at Gandhi Hospital are estimated to begin in around a month.

Approval from Aarogyasri Health Care Trust is awaited to perform the procedures under the health scheme. The process in this direction has begun. Equipment needed to perform the procedures is arranged there.

This is the only second government centre in Telangana where the medical service is offered. The first one is Government ENT Hospital, Koti.

The cochlear implantation costs between ₹8 lakh and ₹16 lakh or above at corporate hospitals depending on the implant opted. The service is offered free of cost at the government hospital.

Currently, around 40 children are on the waiting list at the hospital in Koti. When the implantation is offered at Gandhi Hospital too, the waiting time will come down.

ENT specialists from the government hospitals said that the procedure is performed free of cost under Aarogyasri Scheme, for children up to three years. For children above three years, special requests are filed under Aarogyasri, or applications are filed for Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Head of the ENT department at Gandhi Hospital A Shobhan Babu said that if speech, hearing and language centres in brain are not stimulated until three years after birth, vision centre will take over them. While the implantation can be performed on children above three years too, results might not be optimal.

Before selecting a patient for the implantation, Dr Shobhan said, they check if the patient has profound hearing loss in both ears, MRI and CT scans are performed to know cochlear is normal. Doctors from various specialities such as paediatricians, neurologists, cardiologists, assess the patient’s condition.

Superintendent of Government ENT Hospital in Koti T Shankar said that Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) is performed before the surgery is taken up. It is needed for one year or more after the surgery too.

The specialists said that parents play a crucial role in the AVT after surgery as a child has to be regularly taught how to pronounce, talk and other aspects. Audiologists teach this to parents too.

After initiating Cochlear implantation at Government ENT Hospital in Koti in 2009, around 500 of the procedures were performed, said the superintendent.

Some of the children whose names were registered in 2018 and 2019 for the implantation were forced to wait for two years because of Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the beneficiaries have crossed the age limit of three years. Since they registered earlier, the procedures are being performed now.

The ENT specialists were occupied with Mucormycosis cases during the second wave of Covid-19. The Cochlear Implantation services resumed at the ENT Hospital in Koti around April this year. The Hindu

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