Cochlear Implant Surgery Conducted on Newborn

MUSCAT — An Omani medical team from the Armed Forces Hospital has successfully conducted a cochlear implant on a three-and-a-half-month-old Omani baby.
It was the first such operation to be carried out in the Middle East on a newborn who is less than one year old.
The team was led by Lt Colonel Dr Khalil bin Ibrahim bin Ali Macki, head of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) section at the hospital. Other members of the team were Lt Colonel Dr Ali bin Hamad al Suleiman, head of anaesthetics, Lt Colonel Dr Saleh bin Saud al Abri, anaesthetics consultant and Major Salim bin Nassir al Ismaeli, ENT consultant.
It was less than one year when the hospital introduced a cochlear implant service programme.
In a statement, Dr Macki said the surgery is developed to treat children with hereditary deafness and allows them to hear normally.
He said the implant is usually received by meningitis patients but only after they heal from the infection.
Implants were put on 11 children of one year in the Sultanate in the past, but this is the first time for cochlear implant to be received by a three-and-a-half-month-old baby, he said.
The doctor said it is difficult to determine the success of the implant until after the post-implant rehabilitation.
The newborn was subjected to a pre-implant hearing screen and it was found the auditory nerve was impaired.
Examination after the implant confirmed the nerve is working properly and that the operation, carried out on February 27, was 100 per cent successful.
The cochlear implant was made on request from the family which had a child who earlier received a similar implant when he turned one-year-old. After three years, the parents noticed he socially interacts better than his cousins who suffered from the same hereditary hearing impairment and received implants at a later age.