First cochlear implant surgery for Western Sydney Hospital
16 September 2003
The first patient to have a cochlear implant surgery at Westmead Private Hospital will hear sound for the first time after 12 months of silence on Wednesday, 17 September at 3pm. Mr Gary Choutis, 65 years of Baulkham Hills Sydney, will have his cochlear implant “turned on” tomorrow at the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, Gladesville Hospital, after having the cochlear implant inserted at Westmead Private Hospital two weeks ago.
Westmead Private Hospital ENT Surgeon Dr Melville DaCruz said the establishment of a cochlear implant service in Western Sydney was a “terrific advance”. “The establishment of this service at Westmead Private Hospital, in collaboration with the Sydney Cochlear Implant Service, will drastically improve services for deaf people in western Sydney,” Dr DaCruz said. “People will no longer have to travel long distances to the centre of Sydney in order to access these services.”
Cochlear implants are designed to help people who have severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, or nerve deafness. A cochlear implant is a technical medical device that electronically stimulates the hearing nerve of the cochlea (inner ear). It is designed to allow people with severe to profound hearing loss to perceive sound. When there is nerve deafness, the tiny hair cells that line the cochlea have been damaged. The damaged hair cells cannot send the electrical impulses to the hearing nerve, so the brain does not receive complete sound information. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the inner ear. More than 50,000 people in 120 countries have Nucleus cochlear implant systems.
Journalists are invited to attend when Mr Gary Choutis’ Cochlear Implant is turned on September 17 at 3pm at the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, Gladesville Hospital, Victoria Road, Gladesville. Please contact: Barbara Howard, SCIC Publicity Officer, 02 9817 0011
For further information please contact: Dr Melville DaCruz: 02 9845 6025 Carol Bryant, General Manager Westmead Private Hospital: 02 8837 9102.