Cochlear implant surgery and hearing screening in newborn at MC Erebouni.
- What changes have taken place in ENT Department of MC Erebouni in recent times in terms of professional development of doctors and introduction of medical innovations?
- ENT Department of MC Erebouni was founded in 1992 on the initiative of Harutyun Kushkyan. Since its foundation, modern methods of treatment and diagnosis are used. In recent years in our department are carried out surgeries to treat hearing loss, which can be considered as professional achievement in this field of medicine. In cochlear implant surgeries, which are carried out in the leading clinics of the world, MC Erebouni is also involved. These surgeries give opportunity to restore and cure hearing loss.
We also carry out newborn hearing screening, through which it is possible to identify hearing loss even at this age. Cochlear implant surgeries and hearing screening of newborn are carried out within the State program of Ministry of Health. Based on the current capabilities of our professional and medical equipment, today we can test hearing and identify problems in newborns.
- What successes have achieved your Department in treatment of hearing problems?
- Since its foundation, the main purpose of our Service is the treatment of people with hearing problems or suffering from hearing loss. Before the foundation of our Service, for solving such kind of problems we used remained from the Soviet times equipment for improving the hearing, which at the current stage has lost its relevance. At present during surgical interventions the electronic devices made in Germany, France and Switzerland are used. This improve hearing but didn`t completely cure. For the treatment of hearing problems the conservative medicine therapy is also used. The treatment management is also carried out on the base of hearing problem degree.
- Let`s talk about newborn hearing screening.
-Diagnosis of hearing problems in newborns gives opportunity for an effective treatment. Due to screening it is possible to avoid escalating the hearing problem to chronic stage and get an opportunity to treat the disease at an early or acute stage. In this case the treatment is not expensive.
After the detection of certain hearing problems in newborns through screening, an appropriate treatment is provided in MC Erebouni. Three months later follow-up examination is carried out. In case of revealing the residual hearing problems in newborn, depending on its degree and complexity, the performance of cochlear implant surgery or use of electronic devices are provided in the Center. The sooner the diagnosis of the newborn is made, the more effective will be the treatment and child can integrate into society in time (attend kindergarten, school, etc.).
In Mc Erebouni the first cochlear implant surgery was carried out in 2004 and the operated children went to school on time. Now they are fully integrated members of society.
- Let`s talk about cochlear implant surgery.
-In case of hearing problems, cochlear implant is designed for whole life. Cochlear implant never changes. The device consists of an external and an internal part. During the surgery inner part of the device is implanted into the ear, external part - in outer ear. The external part is a computing device, which is regulates by the degree of hearing and provides complete hearing. With the age the hearing of the child is normalized and there is a need to adjust the level of hearing with a computer. Embedded in the outer part of the ear electronic device should be periodically charged.
- Could you provide statistical data regarding people that suffering from hearing problems?
-World practice information is matched up with ours – out of 1000 newborns 2 or 3 are detected with the hearing problems. Armenia began to develop the project of diagnostics of hearing problem in recent years. Within this period we acquire necessary devices to identify hearing problems. During one year there is about 40000 children are born in Armenia, and 40-50 out of them are revealed with the hearing problems. Some children are operated, rest of them are implanted hearing aids.
-At what age is allowed to carry out cochlear implant surgery?
-As it is difficult to take care after newborns in post-operational period, the surgery is better to carry out when the child is one year old.
- In what condition will be the patient after cochlear implant surgery?
-After cochlear implant surgery the patient is still unable to understand and perceive speech. A great effort and work should be done in post-operational period, during which the specialists teach the patient again to perceive conversational and sound signals but by hearing.
- Tell us, please, the format of your cooperation with leading international clinics.
-Our doctors participate in various international specialized conferences. We cooperate with reputable medical centers of Germany, France, Australia, the USA, Greece and Russia. In implementing this program, we cooperated with Research Centre for Audiology & Hearing Rehabilitation of Russia (the head- Prof George A. Tavartkiladze MD, PhD) and received his assistance. Our countryman Vigen Bakhshinyan is the head of Cochlear Implant Department of that Centre.